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.