Last Saturday at the Market, a little stack of cheeses in the case of Curds & Whey caught my eye, but I had just purchased some Oakvale Gouda, so I resisted. This past Saturday (click the link to see pictures of the packing), however, I had to try it out. I had a nice little chat with purveyor Mike Kast about the state of soft cheeses - especially those from France - and how they seems to have this bizarre plastic-y texture sometimes. He told me this is a result of stabilizers being added to the cheese for export; this Ohio cheese has no stabilizers, keeping its texture true to a traditionally soft, bloomy cheese.
This Lake Erie Creamery Goat's Milk "Blooma" (Brie style) has a soft, velvety exterior (the bloomy part, the beneficial white mold which grows on the outside of many soft cheeses) which encloses a ring of aged, rich cheese, which surrounds a paste which has a texture reminiscent of other goat cheeses - kind of dry but pleasantly rich. The cheese is delightfully salty (most of which is concentrated in the rind; while I prefer to eat the rind, some might choose not to) which almost demands a side of fruit spread for balance (we had it with baguettes from Omega Bakery and fresh Rhoades Farms strawberries).
All in all, this artisan goat's milk Blooma is so good, it made me wonder why we don't have more people producing great cheeses here in Ohio. It's not like we don't have enough cows to go around.
Lake Erie Creamery also makes a traditional soft chevre as well, a tangy spreadable cheese which is fantastic with Mediterranean accompaniments such as olives, hummus and tomatoes.
Info: Lake Erie Creamery Goat's Milk Chevre and Blomma are available locally at Curds & Whey in the North Market (59 Spruce St, just West of High Street in the Short North/Convention Center area).