Nothing to Kid About
Ever tried a free tasting of spinach pesto, sundried tomato or lavender flavored chevrč at the Watauga Farmers' Market?
A must-do for Saturday morning; a sampling from Ashe County's Heritage Homestead dairy and Caldwell's Ripshin goat dairy will knock your socks off.
Goat cheese, with its pristine white color and distinct flavor, is one of the most important and amazing foods in the world.
Chevrč (pronounced "shev") is the French word for "goat," and many of the soft, fresh goat cheese varieties are called by this name. It is a gourmet delight for some and a basic staple for others around the world.
Goats have played a role in food culture for more than 10,000 years. Goat cheese was probably one of the earliest made dairy products. Goat milk and the cheese made from it were revered in ancient Egypt and were also widely consumed by the Greeks and Romans. Goat milk has remained popular throughout history, and even today is consumed on a more extensive basis than cow's milk.
Although the West has popularized the cow, goat milk and goat cheese are preferred dairy products in much of the rest of the world. North Carolina is home to a growing number of farmstead goat cheese operations and artisan cheese makers.
Here are a few simple ways to enjoy your chevrč:
As a snack or appetizer, use as a tasty topping for crispy whole-grain bread or crackers and serve with fruit.
Use as a topping for hot soups or chili.
Add extra flavor and protein to a vegetable sandwich or wrap by including goat cheese.
Top sliced tomatoes with goat cheese and fresh basil; drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
Replace mozzarella or cheddar with goat cheese in your favorite pizza or pasta recipes.
Dice apples and mix with chevrč. Spread over toasted French bread.
Spread over toasted bread or crackers and top with smoked salmon
Chevrč adds a refreshing flair to summer parties and picnics. Supporting our local dairies assures this ancient cheese tradition will continue well into the future.
Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups and is the local food coordinator for Watauga County. To contact Margie, e-mail email@example.com or call (828) 264-3061.