Sheep cheese has a distinctive taste distinctive, very different from cow or goat cheese. On this family sheep farm, the making of cheese reflects a slower pace of life along with a direct connection to the land. Consuming this cheese requires a careful eating pace.
One of the great pleasures doing these stories is getting to go where the story is actually located. In this case it was the foothills of the Cascade Range of Oregon: Pines, firs, windy roads, and hills growing into mountains.
As always, it was educational. Every cheese has its timeline, and it’s all marked down on the calendar. Kathy and Elle, her daughter, checked it a couple of times during the short time we spent in there. The small rounds aging in the standing fridge. The larger rounds hibernating in the walk-in. My favorite part of the process that I got to witness (and film) was Elle adding dry cocoa to the outside rind of the all sheep’s milk ‘Scio Heritage’ cheese. It was rubbed, brushed, and oiled. An antique bronze color emerged. I asked if it changed the taste of it, and Kathy didn’t think so, but it did make it so beautiful.
As I packed up to leave, I took a moment to soak it all in. One more time to smell the trees, feel the wind on my face, and to hear the chirps, yaps, and baaaas.
Recipe from this show: Ancient Heritage Dairy Pasta Surprise!