Israeli Cheese Goes Artisanal
A year after the ‘cottage-cheese protests,’ Israel’s boutique cheese-makers face a busy Shavuot
A sampling of boutique cheese-makers in Israel:
Dror and Sarah Friede make flavored yogurts, labneh, and hard and soft goat cheeses in Ezuz, in the western Negev. You can sample their cheeses with wines from the region, on a veranda overlooking the desert and Egypt. For more details, contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kornmehl Goat Cheese Farms in Ramat Negev sells soft and hard goat cheese and has a lunch for visitors served on low wooden tables looking over the desert. Email: email@example.com.
Shay Seltzer sells yogurt and French-influenced cheeses at his farm at Sataf, in the Judean Hills of Jerusalem. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barkanit Dairy is located in the village of Kfar Yechezkel, on a 500-acre family farm on the way to the Galilee between Mt. Gilboa and Mt. Tabor. Visit: www.barkanit.com.
At Halav im HaRouach, Goats with the Wind Farm, in Yodfat in the Galilee, cheese makers Dalya and Amon studied their techniques in Italy and have the best goat ricotta in Israel. If you go, they make a whole ceremony of bringing the cheese to you on blankets, sitting in a circle. It is definitely off the beaten track. Phone: +972 (50) 532-7387.
Neot Semadar sells cheeses at a roadside stand outside a Negev kibbutz of the same name on the way to Eilat. Email: email@example.com.
Tzuk Farm in the Ella Valley, near Beit Shemesh and the field where David slew Goliath, is run by two brothers who make their own goat cheeses. (Their cheese is also served at brother Nir Tzuk’s restaurant Cordelia in Tel Aviv.) Saturdays the farm is open for lunch but reserve ahead. Call +972 (54) 523-9117.
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A well-thumbed book from my Lutheran childhood is now the ideal text for my Shavuot study and reflection