So, I kinda promised Laurie this would be a no-cheese vacation, beyond what I brought for us to eat, of course.* However, when I realized we were very close to River’s Edge Chevre, I took a day off working on my new book proposal and went for a visit.
River’s Edge is absolutely one of my favorite American cheese makers. Not many folks are making ripened goat cheese of this quality in the U.S. Plus, they are a tiny, family-run, farmstead cheese operation. What is not to love?
Here are some lovely, young Humbug Mountains. We love these, though the “Up in Smoke” (fresh chevre wrapped in a bourbon-spritzed maple leaf) is the River’s Edge cheese we sell the most.
Pat and her daughter Astraea were super accommodating to let me visit with basically no notice. Pat showed me around, Astraea made us fried-egg sandwiches, and then we ate a bunch of cheese. Without buying direct, my selection has been limited, but every single one of the cheeses were incredible in their own way. The St. Olga and the Astraea – neither of which I had tried for a long time – were tremendous harder, washed-rind cheeses that, honestly, I had forgotten all about.
I was in cheese heaven and they didn’t even have the Mayor of Nye Beach, which is – I think – one of the best 2 or 3 washed rind goat cheeses in the country.
You know what they did have though? A schnauzer.
He was so cute and hairy that I wasn’t 100% sure, so I had to ask. I don’t remember Pat’s exact words, so I am going to make up a quote. “We don’t pretty up our Schnauzers out here in the country. Those foofy haircuts are for soft-pawed, city dogs.”**
Of course, they also had goats, some of the most beautiful milkers this soft-pawed, city boy has ever seen. They are a mature ad well-loved little herd.
We hung out for a while talking about tsunamis, floods, goats, organic dairy, dairy inspectors, and the cheese biz. There was so much good cheese I didn’t want to leave! Still, finally I started my wet drive back to our coastal rental.*** When I got back I discovered something very interesting.
It seems that all schnauzers like River’s Edge Chevre.
*Pt Reyes Toma, French Comte, Australian Cheddar (aged 3 years), Beehive Barely Buzzed, Australian marinated Feta, and a wheel of P’tit Basque.
** Pat totally did not say this. I’m hoping she finds it amusing though.
***Favorite fun-fact of the day. The area we were staying in used to be known as the “Pat Boone Estates” because he was an original developer.
**** For a video of Pat making cheese, check out Cooking Up a Story.