Despite being total assholes, goats are the most adorable aliens to visit Earth. Something about their mutant bean-shaped eyes, horizontally expanding bellies, and angry-old-man wails just warm our hearts, while their distinctive milk fills our fridge. Sorry, cows, but your milk is like the plain bagel to goats' everything bagel. So when we find a goat version of a traditionally bovine-produced cheese, we're most likely getting the goat.
As we enjoyed the return of the farmers market under I-83, we nearly walked past Caprikorn Farm's modest booth by the end of the produce tables. The farm is located in Gapland, Maryland, and sells not only artisan cheeses made with goat's milk, but also live bucks and does and goat semen—in case any of you city folk have some use for that. Catching whiff of the tangy aroma (of the cheese), we sampled its cheddar and creamy chevre spread, both equally delicious. But while there wasn't a sample available, we had to buy the last supple ivory pillow of gouda ($11.67 for half a pound) because we don't often come across non-cow gouda varieties.
If everything were right in the world and we could have a bed made of cheese, we'd want the mattress to be made of a young gouda like this. Easily forkable, the cheese tastes floral with a mild honey flavor, though still more bitter that most goat cheeses. We melted it over an open-face sandwich with what was left in our fridge (sage sausage and asparagus—weird but wonderful), because you can't adequately experience any gouda without consuming it in both solid and gooey viscosities. Cold, the cheese is a snacking gem, like an artisanal and less-rubbery version of those string cheese sticks that were regularly featured in our Lisa Frank lunchbox. Melted, it's a decadent, bubbling veil of molten dairy lava, somewhat richer in goaty flavor than when solid. Either way, it's an excursion worth making for any gouda fan—which is probably any cheesemonger, because gouda accounts for over 50 percent of the world's cheese consumption. So gouda.