Good from the goats

Illustration By Mark Stivers

There’s plenty of delicious cheese at Sacramento-area farmers’ markets—and one of the pleasures is to walk around nibbling samples, from Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Co. to Spring Hill Jersey Cheese Co. Recently, I was pleased to spot a new table from North Valley Farms Chevre’, which is bringing bright, clean-tasting fresh goat cheese with a lovely chalky-creamy texture to the market. (It’s also available at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.) The farmstead cheese—that means all the cheese is made from milk produced on the farm, not purchased from outside—is made up north in Cottonwood by Mark and Deneane Ashcraft, whose brochures reveal pictures of some awfully cute goats. The cheese comes in herb flavors as well, but for me the plain fresh chevre’ is the perfect late-summer cheese, equally delicious crumbled over sweet roasted red peppers, spread on a multigrain sandwich with crunchy cucumbers and turkey, or paired with peaches or honey-ripe figs. Check it out: