Today I had the pleasure of attending Latte Da Dairy’s open house with a couple of farm loving friends of mine. First we had a feast at my dear friend’s parents’ house, prepared by her culinarily talented Italian mama that left me positively stuffed. They practically had to roll me out of there to visit Latte Da Dairy in Flower Mound, TX!
I discovered Latte Da Dairy years ago when, unless I’m mistaken, they primarily sold chèvre. Now they sell a wide variety of cheeses including Feta, manchego, blue, and many flavors of chèvre. Once upon a time I did not like goat cheese but it turns out I just don’t like bad goat cheese. Latte Da Dairy’s chèvre is positively delicious. I rarely walk past their stand at the farmer’s market without buying at least one kind of cheese, regardless of whether or not I need it.
What a treat it was to meet the goat responsible for all that delicious cheese! The animals seemed calm and happy. Most of them were sunbathing and did not seem to be bothered by the crowd in the slightest…and quite the crowd there was! I was stunned to see how many people showed up for the open house.
Families were petting and photographing the goats, taking tours of the milking facilities, and strolling through the vendors. Latte Da Dairy invited some local farmers to sell vegetables, pickles, jams, tamales, and more. The farm also offered samples of all of its cheeses. My friends bought several kinds and we noshed on them later. (Thank goodness I went for a run this morning!) Working Farms – my favorite jam maker – was there so I picked up a jar of raspberry jam even though I still haven’t eaten up my blueberry vanilla maple jam. Can you ever really have too much jam in your fridge?
The real surprise was the goat milk yogurt and yogurt pops. If I hadn’t just eaten pot roast, risotto, salad, rolls, a slice of lemon meringue pie and a brownie (and if I’m completely honest, a glass of Malbec followed by a coffee), I would have been all about a goat yogurt pop. I did however pick up a jar of Cajeta, goat milk caramel sauce. How great is that going to be over chocolate gelato later this week?
The farm itself was a real treat to stroll around. The trees were huge and it was surprisingly shady. (I wore sunscreen and my new Wallaroo hat just in case.) The paths were also paved so it was easy to get around and visit all the goats.
Not to play favorites here but my favorites were of course the baby goats. Baby goats! What more does a Sunday need than a huge lunch, a floppy hat, and baby goats?
These little angels were so soft and uncoordinated. One fell in the bucket and another got stuck on her sibling. After we cooed over the baby goats, we went to the barn for a milk and cheese tour.
It was quite interesting to see how the cheese was made. First we saw the barn where the goats were already lining up for their afternoon milking. Then we saw the station where the milking happens (photographed below), followed by the room where the milk is pasteurized. It takes three days to fill a giant vat of goats milk, which is then moved into the cheese making room. It’s quite a long, complicated process to make the different kinds of cheese. We learned that all of Latte Da Dairy’s cheese is aged at least three months in a cave, which I really would have loved to get a glimpse of.
And when we left the tour we saw…more baby goats!
I always say that I love to shake the hand of the man who makes my cheese. I took it one step farther today by shaking the hoof of the goats who make my cheese. A Sunday well spent! If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, be sure and check out Latte Da Dairy’s next open house this fall. If you don’t live in the area, I encourage you to check out the local farms by you!