I imagine that 60 or 70 goats can amount to a lot of trouble in very little time. So on a recent Sunday at the New Amsterdam Market, it was no huge surprise that cheesemaker Ilyssa Berg and Javier Flores — the couple who own Painted Goat Farm, in central New York State — were tending to business elsewhere and not staffing the stall themselves. In their place, Ms. Berg's father, Ted, doled out samples and stories.
The farm makes many cheeses, he noted, including fresh chevre, raw-milk feta, and semi-hard washed-rind styles, but perhaps the most fabled is a log (8 oz., $12) that's coated in a layer of ash, then cave-aged and soft-ripened. Ash does invest cheese with a generally artisanal air, but many cheesemakers also apply it to temper acidity and help add a more complex flavor. At Painted Goat, Mr. Berg prepares it personally, grinding cherrywood charcoal with a mortar and pestle and very likely acquiring a layer of ash himself in the process. He made no suggestion, however, that even on the longest days at the farm, he ever identified with the namesake of that ash-layered cheese — fittingly, Cinderella.
Painted Goat Farm
371 Mittedorf Rd., Garrattsville, New York
At the New Amsterdam Market
(Note: Painted Goat's 2010 season is over at New Amsterdam; see the website for other locations where their cheese might be found)