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Why do cheesemakers use more than one kind of milk? Because it opens up a world of exciting new flavors and textures made possible only by mixing two or more kinds of milk.  Goat’s milk adds tang, cow’s milk adds fatty sweetness, and sheep’s milk contributes rich, nutty flavor.  The possibilities are endless.  Cheesemakers use their creativity, and the result is a larger range of flavors and texture.

Stop by Saturday for a taste of three outstanding examples of cheeses made with two or more types of milk. These mixed milk wonders have been carefully and skillfully developed by exceptional American and Australian creameries.

Gran Canaria - Tastings Gourmet MarketGran Canaria

Winner of the “Super Gold” at the 2019 World Cheese Awards in the category of mixed milk cheese, Gran Canaria is intense, nutty, sweet, and cured with olive oil. A delicious blend of sheep, goat, and cow’s milk, this Parmesan-like cheese is aged for more than two years and gently cured with olive oil, which gives is it a fruity, nutty flavor.

Put Gran Canaria on your cheeseboard and watch it disappear. Not just for snacking, Gran Canaria also lends itself to cooking. Here’s a lovely lobster risotto with Gran Canaria and a fantastic braised lamb stew.

Origin: Wisconsin
Producer: Carr Valley Cheese Company
Milk: Pasteurized sheep, goat, and cow
Rennet type: Vegetarian
Rind: Natural
Age: 2 years +
Look: Pale straw color with holes
Feel: Firm
Smell: Olive oil, pungent
Taste: Very fruity, nutty, sweet
Tastes good with: Apricots, rosemary crackers
Pairs well with: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Belgium Beer, Scotch

Meredith Dairy Feta - Tastings Gourmet MarketMeredith Dairy Feta

A tangy, buttery cheese, this mixed milk Feta goes especially well with sparkling wines. The effervescence cuts through the rich, buttery taste to make an exquisite combination. Delicious, rich, and flavorful, its salty creaminess is truly habit-forming, and so buy two jars!

Meredith Dairy raises the sheep and goats, milks them, and creates award-winning cheeses on site. And none of Meredith’s cheese have earned more accolades than this one. In fact, this is the most awarded goat cheese in Australia! Soft cubes of Feta are dunked into a blend of olive oil, garlic, black peppercorns, spices, and fresh herbs. Imagine it spread on a crusty baguette or layered into an omelet. And once the cheese is gone, you can use the oil in salads or to drizzle on roasted vegetables or pizza. Heavenly!

Origin: Australia (Victoria)
Producer: Meredith Dairy
Milk: Pasteurized goat and sheep
Rennet type: Vegetarian
Rind: None
Age: Less than 2 weeks
Look: Jar of cubed and marinated cheese in olive oil and herbs
Feel: Soft and spreadable
Smell: Garlic and herbs
Taste: Creamy, garlicky
Tastes good with: Roasted vegetables or on pita bread with tomatoes, cucumbers, and mint
Pairs well with: Champagne, Pinot Grigio, Riesling

Echo Mountain Blue - Rogue Creamery
photo courtesy Rogue Creamery

Echo Mountain Blue

Rogue Creamery makes 10 different styles of blue and this one is second only to the famous Rogue River Blue in the number of awards it has garnered. Echo Mountain is also notable as an excellent example of mixing milks to create exciting flavors.

Originally created to help local dairy farmers use their excess goat’s milk, Echo Mountain Blue’s combination of cow (80%) and goat’s (20%) milk creates bold, earthy flavors. The hint of goat’s milk adds a subtle tang to the finish and gives it its full-bodied taste. Today, Rogue Creamery buys all its goat’s milk from a neighboring farm, and 100% of the farm’s milk is used to create Echo Mountain Blue.

Rogue Creamery’s dairy has 180 Brown Swiss and Holstein cows, which go out on pasture daily during the warmer months. Their grass and clover diet is supplemented with organic hay and grain. Aged for a minimum of 8 months to a year in Rogue Creamery’s historic caves, the cheese is not released until it achieves perfection. That extra-long aging time results in a cheese that is well developed and layered with flavor.

Origin: Oregon
Producer: Rogue Creamery
Milk: Pasteurized cow and goat
Rennet type: Vegetarian
Rind: Natural, foil-wrapped
Age: 8 mos. +
Look: Pale yellow, blue veins
Feel: Semi-soft, dense, crumbly
Smell: Rich, clean, goaty, nutty
Taste: Subtle but tangy
Tastes good with: Wheat crackers
Pairs well with: Zinfandel, peppery Cabs, Port or other dessert wine

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