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Right after Farmer John  walked the first goats into the barn at the farm, we tried our hands at making cheese–a simple farmer’s cheese made from mixing the milk, the juice from a lemon, and a bit of salt.  We drained the cheese by tying it up in a piece of cheese cloth and hanging it from the kitchen sink faucet.

We read a few books on cheesemaking and spent many hours on the internet, and as soon as our orders for cheese molds, bacterial cultures and rennet arrived in the mail, we started experimenting with a whole array of soft cheeses.  It was like conducting a different junior high science fair project each weekend.  We’d open up the old refrigerator we were using as a makeshift cave the next weekend and marvel at the results.  Sometimes we’d have perfect pyramids of cheve, and other times there were unrecognizable grey furry mounds.

Over the next year, while we worked with Farmer John to get the farm certified as a Grade A Dairy, we got pretty good with the soft cheeses; however, when it came time to design the first cheese from Beekman 1802, we wanted to create something that stimulated the eyes as much as it stimulated the palate.

Beekman 1802 Blaak is the first artisanal cheese produced from the goats at Beekman Farm.  Blaak is an Italian-style semi-hard cheese made from a 60:40 mix of goat and cow milk giving the cheese a mild but distinctive flavor.   In keeping with traditional cheesemaking practices, this rare cheese is aged for 4 months in our caves and is coated with ash at each turning to promote the ripening of the wheel.  The resulting edible black rind gives the cheese its name (Blaak is the Dutch spelling of the color) and makes it a true conversation piece on your table.

Quite literally, there’s no other cheese like it in the world.

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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April

Can you tell me which, if any, merchants in my area sell your cheeses? I’m in Southern California. Thanks.

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Tim Ryan

Merry Christmas … I received a wheel of Blaak for Christmas …it arrived on Thursday 5 days ago. It yas not been refrigerated… is it safe to consume?

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Tim Ryan

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I was hoping that would be the answer. So excited to try it. One of the best Christmas Presents I received. Merry Christmas guys!

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Debra Lear

Hi guys, I am a non-traditional college student I go to school in NE and live 50 miles away in KS were on the border. I am writing first to say we don't get your show here anymore and I miss it. it was great watching you guts get started. Now I live on a cattle farm with my husband and we own a cow/calf operation. I am soon to graduate with bachelor in Criminal Justice administration and a second bachelors degree in Psychology I am also close to getting a license for addiction counseling. I am very unambitious and I am considering trying to make soap and artisan cheeses as a side business to help give me personal income until I start making money from my degrees and after of course. I have a friend that could work with me and mind the store when I work. I am asking for advice if you can. Thank you Debra Lear

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Jefferson Atkins

Long awaited…..two wheels arrived this week, 2/11/2011. My partner and I are getting married 3/24/2011 and would like to bring one fo the wheels with us to the reception site ( we can discuss via email but they specialize in cheese plates). My question is will the cheese I received today, which we devoured fire pit side this afternoon, ….make it in our regrig until 3/24/2011. I bought two, one for now and left one alone….

I sent Josh a message on facebook and he didn't resond….

the venue might be a place for you both to expand your business….friends with Doug and Garth…friends with John Hall…

email me…..we can talk….best…..

Jefferson

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Tara

Thank you so much for creating this delicious cheese! My husband and I are big fans and he is getting ready to go on his second deployment in the last year. I was hoping my number would come up before he left in Nov and it did! We had the best time snacking on your cheese with some wine and crackers tonight, spending these last few weeks together. The Beekman Boys, Farmer John, the goats, and Polka Spot rock! Blaak will be served at our upcoming wine party and I am sure it will get rave reviews. I'm also an avid cook and can't wait to try it in some recipes. Thank you! BTW Please make polka spot shirts for grownups too… 🙂

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Tara. Our best wishes for your husband. So glad you both enjoyed the cheese. Thanks for bringing a piece of the farm into your home

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Mike

I got my Blaak cheese a few weeks ago. We've been waiting until just the right event to serve it, and well, it heppened this past weekend. We had a nice dinner party for about 10 friends and well, all I can say is… I wish I had ordered two wheels. Gone. Done. Nothing left. It was excellent! From the day it was received, we knew it would be good. Thanks Brent and Josh. We all loved it.

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Sue Hollingshead

Hi Dr. Brent and Josh! I am a huge fan of the show but for some reason I am having a horrible time conecting to your website. I can only guess it is because of my particular internet provider. I would love to be put on the waiting list for your cheese and I didnt know another way but this to do it under the circumstances. Could you plese help me? My e-mail is listed above. Thank you! Sue Hollngshead, Waynesboro, MS

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mary sikora

Brent and Josh, I'm a young and willing lady, and i would like to come up and run your store for free for one week to give you guys a break..just need a pillow for my head and some farm air in my lung.I will clean goat poop, dishes,cook and clean all for free…i would just like to be apart of the wonderful things your doing. I am in Arizona and the change would be awesome and i will pay my own plane fair. I enjoy your show and I'd like to be a working part of your farm for a week for free..give me a hollar if it sounds good…of course you can check me out to be sure I'm not a nut case….I assure you I'm not my cell phone is 480-560-4833 My nephews live in that area and are West Pointe Grad (2) of them live in up state. This is food for thought but this is one vacation I would work and enjoy for the first time in my like..

thanks guys for listening. I'd do a great job.

Thanks

Mary

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Abby Lynn Block

Dear Josh & Dr. Brent,

Our Blaak Cheese was perfect! it had the most perfect black ash rind,the taste and texture was outstanding, and we loved that it was mild. It was the hit of our Super

Bowl Party!

Abby Lynn Block

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Ronnie

Hi! I received my Blaak cheese as a gift and noticed that the wheel has a lot of blue mold covering it. Is this normal? Thanks!

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Ronnie

Mold grows on the wheels naturally while they are in the cave. It is brushed off when the wheels are removed, but if it re-blooms during shipping, simply use a vegetable brush to remove.

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Kendall Smith

I received a wheel of the Blaak cheese as a Christmas gift and it is wonderful! One of my favorite ways to eat this cheese is melted over a piece of prosciutto served on a slice of melba toast with fig jam. SO YUMMY. Thanks for making such a great cheese!

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Amanda

I have been trying to find the spot on your website to order a wheel of Blaak, but I can't find it anywhere. Please let me know how I go about doing this. I really wanted to give this as gifts.

Thank you,

Amanda

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Amanda

We are seasonal producers of cheese (we let the goats rest during the winter months). We generally run out of cheese right after the holidays and start making some more in the Spring. As soon as it is ready, we'll make sure that everyone knows

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Susan Levitt

Yay! My block of Blaak arrived in time for my Christmas party but I should have asked this before the party is about to start:

Do you cut the rind off, or since it appears from one of your answers above that the ash coating IS edible, is it just a question of what you as a host prefer–meaning that rindless or rindful are both OK.

Thanks!

Susan, who should have known to ask this sooner than 4 hours before a party!

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Sabino

Beekman BLAAK is "THE BEST" goat cheese in the Galaxy and 10 miles around! It is SPECTAACULAR !!!

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Cat

I just received some of your cheese that I ordered as a gift for a friend. Does it need to be refrigerated before it's open?

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Cat

If it will be several days before you gift the cheese, we recommend wrapping the wheel in plastic wrap and storing in the refrigerator.

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sioux

You guys are awesome! Loved the recent Harvest Festival in Sharon Springs. Very well done. Sadly, I wish I could eat the fabulous cheese, but as a 35 year vegetarian, I can’t due to the fact of the process using rennet. I will continue to visit your store and buy the goat milk soaps, the Blaak Jam and other local products you sell there. Hope to see you there, always enjoy talking with you and your staff.

Your neighbor in Howes Cave.

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BJ

Hi guys,

Received my Blaak cheese today and it is delicious. I can't wait to share it with friends.

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Karen B Hartley

Hi , Just got your Blaak Cheese in today. Rushed to the kitchen to eat some. Wonderful , It is just wonderful.

Is the Blaak Onion Jam gluten free. I want to order some but need to be sure of that frist.

Love and Blessings , Karen

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Dave

You guys are great. hope u enjoy much success. my wife & I love watching your show & enjoying your witty banter.

Dave D

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Allison

My husband and I just sat down with our Beekman Blaak cheese and onion jam…it was the best taste combination I have had in long time and it even made me do a happy dance! We are huge foodies and really appreciate the time and effort that it must have taken you to create such wonderful products! We watch your show every week and we look forward to more great products from the Beekamn! Good luck and congratulations on all your success!!

Allison

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Jeff A.

I got my shipping notice for the wheel of Blaak I order and wanted to ask what are your suggestions for storage and how quickly should it be consumed? Thank you.

Really looking forward to trying the cheese! Jeff A.

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Jeff

Refrigerate the cheese and keep the cut edge covered with plastic wrap. Always serve the cheese at room temperature

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matt

well as you know I ordered your cheese the other day….

I'll report back.

I've tried making cheese myself at home and never had much luck

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Thomas Huegel

Hi,

I really would love to try the Beekman Blaak, do you have a list of finer stores that would carry it outside of NYC? Also Farmer John needs a facebook page:-)

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Evan

We just got the cheese couple of days ago and we thank you for giving a reusable ice back and we decided to have a cheese tasting party what $15-$35.oo dollars wines would you recomend to go with black and it's my first time hosting one of these in my apartment thank you

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Evan

We think the cheese pairs best with the wine you like best! It has a little saltiness to it which lends well with a nice white or even a cool summer rose. It also has a wonderful earthiness that goes well with a malbec or burgundy. Let us know how the party goes! Send pictures!

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Averill Stevenson

Buying your cheese today, and I hope your books are available for Kindle?

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Kerry

Josh and Brent,

Two weeks ago we received the Blaak cheese and the Blaak Onion Jam. We love both of them. Then last week saw your first episode. And this weekend bought and read cover to cover, The Bucolic Plague. Inspiration doesn't begin to say what I think. I do know how hard business on your own is, and how hard being in business with your partner. Thanks for everything. And good luck. We all need some success!

Kerry

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Pat Friesen

Dr Brent & Josh

I gave your goat cheese wheel as a father's day gift. It was received a couple of days ago in Dallas and he has eaten about half of it by himself! He says he does not think he has ever tasted better cheese AND that I must be trying to kill him as he cannot quit eating it and suspects his cholesterol is rapidly on the rise! He just raved about how good and how fresh it tastes.

Thank you guys….I nailed it with this gift!

Can't wait to visit Beekman.

Pat

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Kenn

Here's a great, easy recipe for a goat cheese tart. Use your own favorite pie crust recipe.

Pie Crust for a 10" tart pan

6 eggs

1C. half and half (or goat milk)

1/4 tsp garlic salt

10 oz of frozen chopped broccoli (or you can use fresh)-or- chopped asparagus

6 oz Beekman Blaak goat cheese

4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped.

Place baking sheet on lower rack of oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the piecrust into a 10" tart pan or deep dish pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Next, in a large bowl, blend the eggs, half-and-half and 1/8 tsp of garlic salt. Scatter the broccoli (or asparagus) over the bottom of the piecrust and season with the remaining 1/8 tsp of garlic salt.

Shred Beekman Blaak goat cheese over the top; evenly sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes over goat cheese and pour in the egg mixture.

Set the tart pan (or pie plate) on the heated baking sheet and bake at 400 for appx. 40 min or until a knife inserted in the center tests clean. Cool the tart on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove the tart ring by loosening with a small paring knife if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature. This tart is excellent with a nice fresh tossed salad. A perfect light lunch or first course!

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Carol

Hi Dr. Brent and Josh. Kenn kindly shared a piece of your cheese with me today. It has such a wonderful flavor. I think I'm hooked!

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Dr. Brent

Kenn is our BEST sales rep! Thanks so much for stopping by to let us know. Hopefully we'll have it in a store near you at some point

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thom elsemiller

i think i tried this on 14st and 9 ave in NYC two weeks ago and i am looking for where to get it info please help!

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Thom

You did! That was me at the Good Farmer market as part of the Food Network Wine and Food Festival! You can find it in NYC at Murrays in the West Village and Grand Central, at Saxelby in the Essex Street Market, and at Garden of Eden near Union Square

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Elaine

Hi, Dr. Brent and Josh. Congratulations on your newest venture! The cheese looks wonderful and I can't wait to try some.

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nadia

How wonderful and inspiring! i just got my first few book on cheese making and cant wait! i also have to say this is just the kind of thing that would have me drooling at the cheese shop!

congrats!

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Dr. Brent

Thanks, Nadia

We can't wait to see what you come up with. You may also want to check out Liz Thorpe's book The Cheese Chronicles. It's a great read

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Kenn

I have the perfect goat cheese, sun-dried tomato tart recipe that has been waiting for this cheese! The sampling of cheese we enjoyed at the Harvest Festival left us wanting more.. and now, we can have it just in time for the holidays.

Time to place our order…

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