Ahoy Landlubbers! Here Come the Pearls from Maine

Just one look’ll tell you this ain’t your typical pearl, though they do come from one of the most oyster-ridden states in the union. From the great state of Maine to your dinner table come Saxelby Cheesemongers’ very own land lubber Pearls; delicious little cheeses made from a mix of goat and cows’ milk and steeped in the most American of all spirits, good old fashioned bourbon. The wholesome part comes from Maine, and the bourbon part, well, we’re guilty of committing that measure of corruption. Eh hem. I’ll explain myself…

Spring has truly sprung in the cheese world, and these Pearls are here to prove it. For the past three weeks, as we New Yorkers have been groaning and kvetching about the cold weather, Barbara Brooks and her girls (the goats that is…) up at Seal Cove Farm have been going like gangbusters. If you think a walk to the subway in the snow is tough, try birthing over 200 kid goats in cold and blustery coastal Maine! Spring is certainly one of the most interesting times on the farm, as mother nature hits you a one-two punch of weather and hormones. First she smacks you with one last wallop in the weather department, and just to add some flavor, she elbows you in the gut with birthing (kidding, lambing, or calving) season.

All that craziness is truly worth it, and these little Pearls are a testament to the richness and decadence of spring milk. Barbara shipped our first installment about a week back, and we set about ripening them immediately. Our own little touch (the corrupting part) was to take these fresh, creamy cheeses and wrap them in grape leaves which we’d steeped in spicy, caramel-esque bourbon. As the Pearls ripen, they develop a thin and wrinkled bloomy rind and get gooey right down to the core. The overriding flavor is certainly fresh, tangy, and light… all the things we love most in a delicate goat cheese. The bourbon however, adds a bit of subtle spice to the mix, infusing the cheese with a heady aroma that brings out the more musky qualities of the goats milk. As it turns out, cheeses, like people, get a little more brash with a liberal dose of bourbon.

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