June 15th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Yesterday, I shared a great organic food find: Coonridge Organic Goat Cheese. (Click here to read the blog entry.) I asked owner Nancy Nathanya Coonridge to share her thoughts on what it means to her, as a dairy farmer, to go organic. Her responses follow.
Why is it important to you to offer an organic product?
Being certified organic is a major part of what I am doing at my dairy. I want to make the best possible cheese. My goats, their milk and cheeses are all certified organic. I flavor my cheeses with certified organic herbs and oils because I want all those ingredients to be of the highest quality: GMO-free and without additives. Plus, it is what I can do to protect the Earth’s environment.
Any issues with shipping cheese during the summer months?
Coonridge Organic Goat Cheese ships without refrigeration at any time of year. I start with a living culture and then cover the cheese with herbed oils. The herbs and oil are part of the wonderful flavor of the cheese, but also serve to protect the cheese from the air so it cannot mold. It is continuing to age, so I ask people to refrigerate it on arrival to stop the aging process.
Part of my project at the dairy has been to make the cheeses that people made before there was refrigeration. These include cheeses submerged in oil, as my fromages are, or those made with salt, as in my feta cheeses.
What makes your goat cheese mild?
Healthy goats eating good feed produce excellent milk. If we take special care of the milk, the cheese will have that same excellent flavor. Goat cheese does not have to be strong and “goaty.” In France, they crave the stronger flavors, but I make my cheese for American tastes. Having my goats eating the wild feed they evolved to eat makes for a great and unique flavor.
Photo of the Coonridge goats courtesy of Nancy Nathanya Coonridge
Read More:Why One Dairy Goes Organic
June 14th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
It’s sometimes difficult to find organic goat cheese at your local natural and organic food store. When researching last Wednesday’s blog entry on the nutritional aspects of goat cheese, I came across a great organic food find: Coonridge Organic Goat Cheese in Pie Town, New Mexico.
The dairy has been making organic goat cheese since 1981, and you can order a phenomenal selection of flavored goat cheeses through its online store: Curry, Herbs and Garlic, Roasted Garlic, Basil Pesto, Black Peppercorns and Herbs, Flame-Roasted Green Chile, Habeñero, Herbs de Provence, Dried Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic, Scarborough Fair (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme—plus garlic), Italian Herbs, Southwestern Blend, Chipotle, Dillweed Onion and Extra-Hot Flame-Roasted Green Chile. Cheese may be ordered in several quantities, from a single jar to a full case (12 jars).
The Coonridge website also offers a bunch of mouth-watering organic goat cheese recipes—from Baked Apricots with Goat Cheese & Pistachios and Baked Goat Cheese with Arugula Salad to the ever-so-simple Coonridge Baked Potatoes and Coonridge Corn Casserole.
Nancy Nathanya Coonridge, the dairy’s proprietress, believes goat cheese does not have to be strong and “goaty,” and she prides herself on making a mild cheese that pleases the American palate. Tune in tomorrow for my exclusive interview with her about why it’s important to go organic.
Read More:Organic Food Find: Coonridge Organic Goat Cheese
June 7th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
You’re shopping at your local organic food store and decide to pick up some goat cheese (often labeled “chevre,” its French name) for a Mediterranean salad. So, how does it compare nutritionally to other cheeses?
“The most popular types of goat cheese in the United States are moderate in fat content,” says Karen Collins, MS, a registered dietitian in private practice and nutrition advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research. “Soft goat cheese—with a texture like cream cheese, but a more pronounced, pleasantly tart flavor—is lower in fat than most cheese, with 6 grams of fat and 80 calories per ounce. It is comparable in fat content to reduced-fat (light) cream cheese. You may find some low-fat versions of goat cheese that go further, with only 45 calories and 3 grams of fat per ounce.”
A little goat cheese goes a long way, Collins notes, because its flavor is stronger than many cheeses.
“Because of its unique flavor, only a small amount is needed to add sparkle to a salad, roasted vegetables or pasta-and-vegetable entrée,” she says. “Semi-soft goat cheese is a bit more concentrated, with a fat content more like other cheese: about 100 calories and 8 or 9 grams of fat per ounce. If you go for the ‘triple cream’ goat cheese, realize it has a whopping 150 calories and 15 grams of fat per ounce.”
Read More:Organic Goat Cheese