Veronica Baetje first made her popular Miette, a bloomy-rind sheep's and goat’s-milk cheese, out of necessity. The summer of 2012 was particularly hot, and the goats at Baetje Farms in Bloomsdale, Missouri, were so uncomfortable that they weren’t producing enough milk. Baetje tried to find additional milk from nearby farms, but all she could get her hands on was sheep’s milk. After some experimentation, she came up with Miette by blending the two milks.
“It has the consistency of a baked cheesecake – kind of melts in your mouth,” Baetje says. “It has aromas of a really fine white wine and yeasty bread dough. The flavors are just amazing: When you put it on your tongue, it melts like butter and you really taste the fermented cream – a really rich flavor and a little toasted sunflower note.” Since Miette is a lactic-style cheese, it takes a little bit longer to make – about 14 days from start to finish, including allowing the culture to set, ladling, draining and aging.
Baetje makes about 200 pounds of Miette a week – all by hand, with no automated equipment – and ships it from coast to coast, particularly the West Coast. In 2015, Miette placed in the top 50 cheeses at the World Cheese Awards, out of 2,800 cheeses from 35 countries. “It’s a lovely little cheese,” Baetje says. (Photo by Jonathan Gayman)
Baetje Farms, 8932 Jackson School Road, Bloomsdale, Missouri, 573.483.9021, baetjefarms.com