People went nuts for goat products way back in ancient Egypt, when pharaohs, supposedly, were buried with goat milk and goat cheeses to carry into the afterlife. “Over the course of the Earth, more people have eaten goat’s milk than any other milk,” says Ron Drake, owner of Drake Family Farms.
Though not that ancient, the Drake farmland was purchased in 1880 but didn’t have goats until nearly a century later. A mixed-breed named Glacier started their endeavor, then they just kept buying more goats as a hobby, and their children tended the herd. In 2003, however, all the kids moved away, so Drake and his wife, Jeannette, decided to start a commercial business, producing raw and pasteurized milk, yogurt, cheese and soap—all from their large, friendly herd.
Now, Drake says, he deals with a lot of nuts: health nuts, government nuts, “and I’m just plain nuts.” That may be true, since a person has to be a little crazy to be a dairy farmer in this age of industrial farms. Drake says all the health nuts say goats’ milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk—it’s a smaller fatty-acid chain—so people’s allergies go away, dry skin is cleared up and chemotherapy patients can actually keep it down, unlike many other foods. He says the government nuts make him pasteurize the milk sold at farmers markets and grocery stores. But, for health nuts, unpasteurized products are sold at the West Jordan family farm.
Either way, fresh goat milk is exquisite, with a hearty, earthy fullness and slightly salty notes. Drake Family Farms also makes feta, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. And, the chévre, which is similar to cream cheese, is immaculate: smooth and delicious and comes in seven flavors. Apricot & Honey, Garlic & Onion and Basil are definitely flavors worth checking out. Who knows? You might just “go nuts” for goat, too.
DRAKE FAMILY FARMS
1856 Drake Lane