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Happy 20th Birthday, Humboldt Fog!
It came to her in a dream. That’s how Cypress Grove Chèvre founder Mary Keehn explains the origin of her cheese, Humboldt Fog, arguably America’s best-known and beloved artisan goat cheese.
She, along with another stellar cheesemaker, Judy Schad, of Capriole in Greenville, Indiana, and equally notable cheese importer, Chantal Plasse were returning from a trip to Provence in France, where they had visited some family cheese makers.
As she was flying back home, Mary says she had a dream about the cheese that would become Humboldt Fog: a layer cake-like soft cheese separated in the middle by a horizontal line of edible ash, blanketed by a downy white rind, and creamy just under that rind.
The mother of four had been making cheese commercially for ten years, but Humboldt Fog is the cheese that really put her on the map. This, at a time, when goat cheese was not really understood yet. Such the pioneer she was! Since then, it’s hard to say whether Mary’s cheeses or the names she and her crew give them are more clever. Bermuda Triangle (not surprisingly, a triangular-shaped “log,”), PsycheDillic (guess what’s in it), Purple Haze, Sgt. Pepper and more. (Think there’s a 60s theme going on here?)
And so, to Mary, to all the people at Cypress Grove Chèvre, and to Humboldt Fog, happy 20th birthday!