A recent excursion brought us to the Bass Lake Cheese Factory near Somerset, WI. Master cheesemaker Scott Erickson was a hell of a good host, gamely answering questions for 45 minutes, tolerating the attention of a video crew that was tagging along with us, and demonstrating a session of chevre salting and curd tasting.
I’m happy to report that chevre curds, after hanging for a few days in nylon bags to build up the proper level of acidity, are as distinctive as the cheese itself different, but quite delicious. The curds had a pure, clean flavor and a cloud-like texture… each tiny mouthful was spiked by a note of tangy acid.
Erickson salted the chevre curds after transferring them (by hand, of course) from their bags to stainless steel forms. We tried both salted and unsalted curds; I slightly preferred the latter, as they were a perfect chance to taste what goat cheese’s distinct, gently acidic note tastes like before the rest of the cheese develops a more assertive body.
Bass Lake has a back room with a variety of different cheses stockpiled in what turns out to be a photogenic manner:
It occurred to us recently that we hadn’t posted a photo of what a master cheesemaker’s medal actually looks like. Erickson did an excellent job of displaying his, so here’s a snapshot:
If you’re reading this blog post and you’re within an hour or two of Hudson, WI (about 35 minutes East of St. Paul), check out Bass Lake. They have a running series of wine tastings on alternate Saturdays that sound pretty delightful.