I basically have a love - hate relationship with goat's milk. This is due to the fact that I had a mom (Deborah) who didn't want her children to eat or drink anything processed - which led to her keeping a goat, whom we named Jasmin, in our carport. (No we didn't have a farm, which is why this is weird). She would milk Jasmin and use the goat's milk on our granola, for cooking, and for anything else you'd use milk for. My sister Molly and I just wanted to be "normal" kids, you know, with store-bought cartons of homogenized Vitamin D cow's milk. But no. Even Mom's attempts at "hiding" the fact that it was fresh goat's milk by putting the milk inside a store-bought milk container she got from one of her friends didn't work. First of all, the milk was usually still warm which was a big indicator that it didn't come from the Safeway dairy fridge. Secondly, it tasted "goatie," not "cowie." And being young (and desperate to conform) we really, really, really wanted "cowie." So often when I eat goat's milk cheese, I'm brought back to that phase of my childhood which my husband has dubbed "little Deb on the Prairie."
What does my tale of woe have to do with delicious O'Banon cheese? Well O' Banon made by Capriole is one of the reasons why I have the "love" part of my love-hate relationship with goat's milk. This dense, yet creamy chevre wrapped in bourboned chestnut leaves is like an amusement park ride for your taste-buds. The high quality milk gives the cheese a feather-light, yet mildly tangy attack, and the Woodford Reserve Bourbon soaked leaves provide a light kick at the end. Perfection. Pure and simple. And one of the best things about it is that it's an American farmstead cheese!
As quirky as my childhood was, as an adult I appreciate my mom's efforts to give us the highest quality foods. And even though I joke about the "trauma" of having a goat rather than a Volvo in the carport, without all my exposure to different flavors I may not be so well equipped to appreciate little slices of joy like O'Banon.