Questions About Goat Cheese
Q: Are Redwood Hill Farm goat milk cheeses made from only goat milk?
A: Yes. Redwood Hill Farm cheeses are made from 100% grade A goat milk.
Q: What is rennet and do Redwood Hill Farm cheeses contain rennet?
A: Rennet is an enzyme used to coagulate milk in cheesemaking. Originally this enzyme was extracted from the stomachs of baby calves, preserved and used in cheesemaking. This enzyme can also be made from fermenting vegetable enzymes. One of the most popular rennets today is bioengineered rennet.
Redwood Hill Farm cheeses use a kosher, non GMO, vegetable enzyme which is sometimes described as "rennetless."
Q: What other ingredients are in Redwood Hill Farm cheeses?
A: Redwood Hill Farm cheeses also contain pure, natural sea salt and imported cheese cultures from France. In addition, the Chevre flavors contain fresh ground peppercorns, chives and garlic. The mold ripened cheeses include cheese molds imported from France.
Q: What are "mold ripened" cheeses?
A: "Mold ripened" (also known as "rind ripened") cheeses are those that have special cheese molds added to the milk during cheesemaking to ripen and produce a cheese of a particular flavor. The Camellia is a Camembert/brie style cheese, and the snow-white mold covering the cheese ripens it from the outside to produce a soft creamy cheese. The California Crottin is a small cheese covered with an edible golden mold rind which gives the cheese a robust and earthy flavor.
Q: Are Redwood Hill Farm cheeses made from raw or pasteurized milk?
A: Both. By law, any cheese made in the US of raw milk must be aged 60 days or more, so the fresh and younger cheeses such as chevre, Camellia, and California Crottin are made with pasteurized milk, while the Goat Milk Feta is made with raw milk.
Q: How long is raw milk cheese aged?
A: The raw milk Feta is aged 6 months or more to give it an interesting and tangy flavor with less of the strong salt flavor common with imported Feta.
Q: What method do you use to pasteurize the milk?
A: For Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery natural goat milk products we use the "Vat Pasteurization" method. This requires that the milk be heated to 145 degrees F for a minimum holding of 30 minutes and then immediately chilling the milk. This is the lowest temperature for pasteurization allowable by law. By comparison, HTST or "High Temperature/Short Time" requires that the milk be heated to 162 degrees F for 17 seconds. HTST is the method used most frequently by creameries because of the shorter time. UHT or "Ultra High Temperature" requires heating the milk to 275 degrees F for one second and will render the product virtually sterile for long lasting time on the shelf. We prefer the "Vat Pasteurization" method for our goat milk dairy products We feel it is the best method for preserving the integrity of the milk when preparing for culturing our natural cheese, yogurt and kefir.
Q: I've had Feta. Does that mean I've tasted goat cheese before?
A: Not necessarily. Originally, Feta was made from either goat or sheep milk. In this country Feta is made primarily from cow milk. If any cheese is made from goat milk the label will include that information.
Q: I've seen "goat cheese" in many shapes such as logs or disks. Which should I use in recipes that call for goat cheese?
A:"Chevre" is a soft, French-style goat cheese that many refer to simply as "goat cheese". Chevre can come in discs or logs, and Redwood Hill Farm Chevre comes in user friendly tubs with re-sealable lids. All shapes of chevre can be used in recipes calling for "soft goat cheese." Chevre is similar in spread-ability to cow cream cheese with only 1/3 the fat and calories, and can be substituted for cream cheese in recipes.