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Raw Milk • Natural Rind • Aged 2-3 months
Availability:Limited quantities from Spring to Fall, or until sold out
Created in 2011, this cheese is called "Shepherdista" which is a play on the words 'shepherd' and 'fashionista' as inspired by my commitment to infuse my own style and flair into my new-found agricultural pursuits....silver farm boots? Damn right. A pink cheese room apron? Naturally. Wearing lipgloss when hauling milk cans? Of course. Bleating Heart's Shepherdista is made exclusively from the milk of Lacaune-East Friesian dairy sheep who live and graze on a 28 acre farm in western Sonoma County, on the outskirts of Sebastopol, CA. The cheese is made by hand in very small batches and then aged for at least 2 months on wood shelves in our aging room located on an apple orchard. Rather than adding specific molds to the milk or trying to force anything to grow (or not grow) we let the rind develop naturally and spontaneously - it's molds gone wild. In the humid cave-like conditions of our aging room, the cheeses are turned and patted every few days, encouraging the natural molds of our region to take up residence on the rind. The supple ivory paste has a few holes and contrasts beautifully with the stone-colored molds on the natural rind. With subtle grassy notes and a pleasant tang that only sheep milk can provide, Shepherdista is perfect on it's own paired with a light red wine or slightly acidic white wine, some crackers and fruit, but it's also the perfect candidate for a super chic grilled cheese or great shaved into a salad.
- SILVER MEDAL WINNER, CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR 2012
- GOLD MEDAL WINNER, CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR 2013
- DOUBLE GOLD WINNER, SONOMA COUNTY HARVEST FAIR 2011, 2012, 2013
These are some of our beautiful ewes luxuriating in the pasture after being milked in the morning. You can see the grass that the girls transform into rich milk.
Here is Shepherdista in the cheese room after aging for ~60 days on rough sawn California redwood shelves. We have to keep the humidity rather high, well over 90% to encourage the molds to grow.