The focus at Terrell Creek Farm in Fordland, Missouri, is fresh goat cheese made with milk from a herd of adorable brown and white Nubian goats. Owners Lesley and Barry Million founded the farm in 2012 and quickly became favorites at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks in Springfield, Missouri, for their fresh, spreadable chèvre. The Millions soon added crumbly Feta and then creamy blue cheese to their lineup, followed by the Big Bluff Tomme, a slicing cheese that won Best of Show at the Missouri State Fair last year. In the fall of 2015, they added their first grating cheese, Caprino Romano.
To make the whole goat’s-milk Caprino Romano, milk is pasteurized and then culture is added. Unlike the farm’s fresh goat cheese, which is set with lactic acid, the Caprino is a rennet-set cheese, meaning more rennet is added before the curd is cut. The cheese is then pressed and left to rest for several hours. Holes are poked into the cheese wheels to drain even more liquid, as the finished product should be on the drier side. The Caprino then ages for a minimum of nine months before it’s ready to bring to market.
The hard cheese is similar to Parmesan, with a sharp yet sweet and nutty flavor perfect for adding to soups, shaving over salads or pasta dishes, or slicing and serving with crackers. “We’ve gotten a good response from Harvest Restaurant in Rogersville, Missouri; they’ve used it in some of their pastas,” Lesley says.
Terrell Creek’s cheeses are sold at farmers’ markets in Springfield and the surrounding area, as well as fresh on the farm. Check out the creamery's new monthly Cheese Night on the Farm events, which launched last fall and resume on Saturdays this month. Lesley, who majored in art education, serves artistic cheeseboards featuring Terrell’s cheeses as well as locally made charcuterie, nuts, fruits, pickled vegetables and more, plus cheeses from other regional producers. “We do really big, elaborate cheese and charcuterie boards all made with local products,” Lesley says. “It’s an opportunity for people to come out, tour the farm, eat some cheese, listen to live music and relax on a Saturday evening.” (Photo by Jonathan Gayman)
Terrell Creek Farm, 508 Fordland Hills Dr., Fordland, Missouri, 417.209.0021, terrellcreekfarm.com