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The goat cheese log you will enjoy this month comes from the Montchevré Cheese Company in Belmont, Wisconsin. Though it is American-made, the company's recipes, methods, and makers come from a long line of French cheesemakers.
Arnaud Solandt and Jean Rossard are partners in the Montchevré Cheese Company. Both men are descendants of generations of cheesemakers from Poitou in central France, which is still the heart of France's goat cheesemaking region. When they immigrated to the States in the mid-1980's and saw the burgeoning popularity of goat cheese (“chèvre”) in this country, they decided to put their heritage—and years of experience—into a new adventure. After much searching for the perfect situation, they found a small Wisconsin cheese factory with a goat farm right across the street. In 1988, Montchevré began making goat cheese using 5,000 pounds of milk each week. That may sound like a lot, but 5,000 pounds produced a very small amount of cheese. Fortunately, the quality was impressive, and they have won dozens of state, national, and international awards ever since. Most recently, their product won "Best in Class" in the 2008 World Championship Cheese Contest.
Today Montchevré has over 100 employees that process three million pounds of milk each year. Though the company has grown and has modernized some equipment, it is still relatively small, and the emphasis is still on quality. Cheese is still made the same way—by hand—in the tradition of their French ancestors, with the focus on creating the most superb product possible.
Montchevré uses only fresh, 100% natural goat's milk; no hormones or preservatives are added. They use milk produced by Amish farmers who are local to the Wisconsin and Iowa region. For most lactose-intolerant adults and children, goat cheese is a delicious alternative to cheese made from cows' milk. Plus, goat cheese has twice the calcium of cream cheese and half the saturated fat and fat calories. It's truly a nutritious AND healthy indulgence!
Arnaud and Jean have a strong partnership, each participating fully in company decision making. They share a commitment to the highest standards of quality cheesemaking. As Arnaud says, "I couldn't do it without Jean. And he couldn't do it without me. In eighteen years of working together, we've never had a fight. If we disagree, we always find a compromise position."
Even though Montchevré is a relatively new company, its cheeses have won many state, national, and international awards, among them:
2008 World Championship Cheese Contest, Best in Class
2007 American Cheesemakers Award
2006 3rd Place World Championship Cheese Contest
2003 Wisconsin State Fair: silver and bronze medals
2002 World Cheese Competition: gold medal
2002 Wisconsin State Fair: gold and silver medals
1999 National Cheese Contest: Best of Class for Blue Cheese and 2nd Place in Goat Cheese class
1997 World Cheese Contest: Best in Class
Goat's milk cheeses are especially rich and delicious, since they are made from fresh milk. These cheeses are versatile and can be used at any time of the day you wish to serve them. They can be served warmed, with salad, and at room temperature after dinner as a dessert, often served with fruit. Check out www.montchevre.com for some simple and wonderful recipes.
Our friendly and knowledgeable customer service will help you with any questions. You may also place orders over the phone.
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