Great pairings begin with great cheese. Great cheese sings, in both hushed and booming notes, enchanting us with its aesthetic, texture and flavor. A condiment plays a supporting role — it can help reveal what is already there, enhancing or adorning an existing characteristic. Occasionally a pairing makes something new and different, a third taste — a flavor that isn’t the cheese and isn’t the condiment but what emerges from the union of the two.
THERE’S A CHINESE PROVERB ABOUT A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES THAT BEGINS WITH A SINGLE STEP. In this case, one young woman’s travels in France inspired the birth of Vermont Creamery, an iconic cheese company that helped shape America’s palate for goat cheese and cultured dairy products.
Unless you’re a professional rally racer, the crushed gravel road leading to Capriole Goat Cheeses forces you to drive at about 10 mph. The unusually harsh winter of 2014 pocked the soft road with holes, which are now brimming with grey water from recent rains. A dense stand of trees concealing Judy Schad’s award-winning cheese operation leaves one guessing around which corner it’ll appear.
“We thought it would be neat to get away from the city when we bought this place,” says Schad, who moved to Greenville, Ind., four decades ago. “What were we thinking, right? We’re so close to Louisville, KY., but you would think we lived in no-man’s-land.”