This award-winning cheese coming from the mountains in Western Maryland is celebrated as one of the first of its kind in the United States, a spruce wrapped, bloomy rind, goat cheese. Modeled after European cheeses coming from Extremadura, Spain such as Tora de Esprimijo, and Tortilla de Barros, what started as an experiment to celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2016, Firefly Farms created the Merry Goat Round Spruce Reserve.
The cheese is gooey, with notes of fresh mushrooms, complex notes of forest floor from the spruce bark used in soft, bloomy rind, and considered “over-ripe” cheeses to keep their shape and add depth to their flavor profile. Merry Goat Round is aged for about a month and is made with pasteurized, hormone free goat’s milk from surrounding farms who practice sustainable farming techniques. The cheese gets its silky yet gooey texture and umami flavor profile from the use of microbial rennet which mimics an enzyme similar to the amino acid chymosin used to make non-vegetarian cheeses.
This cheese is best when served fully ripe at room temperature or heated up in the oven at 350 degrees until completely melted and pouring over. Just gently cut the top part of the cheese off and enjoy with a glass of Saint Bris, Sauvignon Blanc, or a Spanish Garnacha.