July 10, 2017
Hot summer days mean a constant search for a brief reprieve from the sweltering heat lurking outside every door in the south. Therefore, if spending time on the sandy shores of a nearby lake or beach isn’t possible, sometimes it’s best to find adventure indoors.
Recently, on a whim brought forth from a Facebook group invite to which I was not originally included, my friend Meg and I skipped town and made our way over to Longview (truly White Oak, but I don’t know how one would tell the difference in the two), Texas, for a field trip of sorts.
This Facebook invite was created by the local Slow Food chapter as an outing for their members to get a behind the scenes look of Haute Goat Creamery. Haute Goat products have been a staple around the Shreveport-Bossier area for a few years now and in keeping with the mission of Slow Food, this unique access to local food creation was both educational and delightfully tasty! Thankfully, the lovely members of Slow Food North Louisiana were gracious enough to welcome non-members on this culinary adventure, as well.
I have purchased many of the HG’s products in my two years of living in Shreveport and loved every creamy morsel. I must admit, though, my scope of knowledge of HG was limited to their presence at the Shreveport Famer’s Market, so this experience and wealth of knowledge was a joy for me. Not only did I learn about the much wider array of flavored chevre (goat cheese), but also of the many other products owners, Jeff and Laura, have created.
Jeff, Laura, and assistant, Teresa, were wonderfully gracious hosts welcoming us into their labor of love on an off day- Sunday. Due to uncertainty of our location, Meg and I were a bit early and so joined only one other family as we timidly made our way into the storefront. After the disclaimer that we were not Slow Food members and only two ladies looking for a new experience on a Sunday afternoon, we found out the other family was sneaking in on the trip, as well, and felt right at home.
Spread across every spare surface were exhibitions of their finest works. A beautifully prepared charcuterie tray (pictured above), a watermelon salsa/salad topped with fresh feta, vegetables encircling a bowl of Haute Goat yogurt based taziki, and a multitude of their flavored chevres filled the room. From candied jalepeno and blueberry chipotle to Thai pepper and mocha chocolate, everyone is bound to find a flavor to suit their fancy. Personally, I only found one that I wasn’t compelled to buy, and that’s just because my taste buds haven’t matured to appreciate bleu cheese just yet.
Thanks to Teresa, we were able to sample the heavenly manna they call mocha chevre even though it wasn’t technically on display. Y’all. I should have asked for a sales commission on that product alone. By the end of the tasting, I think I had everyone in earshot adding that $8 ball of goodness to their haul.
Little did we know, our journey would include the latest in artisan cheese making couture fashion. After slipping on this summer’s take on protective footwear and hair coverings, we were invited into the production portion of the facility. Jeff explained the processes of milk receiving, pasteurization, cooling, data recording, and recipe creation with a passion that can only emanate from the heart of a small business owner speaking of their beloved craft. Jeff is a retired organic chemist, so his scientific knowledge was evident as he spoke on food cultures and how chemical reactions form the basis for cheese making. Their milk is all locally sourced from farms who breed goats for year-round milk production. Even with this constant availability, Jeff also explained that the milk itself differs in chemistry throughout the year and that, consequently, alters the cheeses ever so slightly.
Because I had recently purchased an Everything (but the bagel) flavored chevre just days before, I settled with only bringing home two more flavors- sun dried tomato and mocha. My original plans were to recreate a BLT using the sun dried tomato, but after a few sittings with a spreader and warm bread, I think my supply is running low. As for the mocha, it keeps calling for a sweet bread or cracker. I haven’t satisfied its wishes just yet, but plan to very soon.
For my Shreveporters and Bossierites, there are several locations around town to find Haute Goat products:
And for everyone else, you can find a listing of where to purchase Haute Goat products in Louisiana and Texas here.
Don’t live nearby? Have them ship it to you!
And if you find yourself in the Longview area to visit Jeff and Laura (or for any reason), do yourself a favor and stop in at Mi Casita at 324 North Spur 63 in the heart of town for some fiiiine eats! Beware, the Chuck Norris (pictured below) is NOT for the faint of heart. I ate on it for 3 days!