Great goat cheese puts Texas dairy on chefs’ short list

on Mar 16 in Industry News

by CBS News

When you think of the finest cheeses in America, you may think they only come from places like Vermont or Wisconsin.

But you don’t have to head north to find the good stuff. Some great goat cheese comes from right here in the Lone Star state.

On a recent early morning, as a reporter visited her dairy, Anne Jones was already up to greet her goats.

The day’s first milking at the Latte-Da Goat Dairy begins at 6 a.m. If you want to create world-class goat cheese, get ready to work like a dog.

“It’s physically hard work, working with the goats — hauling hay, trimming feet, keeping the goats healthy,” Jones said. “You can have the flu and a pounding headache, but you still have to go down to the barn and milk the goats.”

She’s a licensed veterinarian who spent 12 years healing animals before she began herding them. In 2006, she bought the five-acre farm and her first two goats.

Within a year, she was making her way in America’s elite goat cheese world — winning competitions over noted dairies from Vermont to California.

Chef Jon Bonnell took notice. His Fort Worth restaurant serves Texas cuisine with a twist. It’s one of only 23 restaurants in the world to earn Zagat’s highest food score.

He rates Anne Jones’ cheese just as highly.

Bonnell says what makes Jones’ cheese so special is the way she treats her goats. These are more than barnyard animals to her.

“They are like Golden Retrievers with udders,” she said. “You call them and they know their name and come when you call them. ”

She has more than 50 goats at the dairy and feels a maternal connection to all of them.

“They’re my kids, absolutely, yeah. I mean, I’m the one who was there when they took their first breath,” she said.

That special connection is one she hopes you’ll taste in every bite of the cheese.

Link: Latte Da Dairy: