Cheese tasting time at the State Fair

Posted at: 09/20/2013 7:02 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

One of these days – if there’s any justice at all in this world – New Mexico will be almost as famous for its cheese as it is for its chile.

Friday was Cheese Day at the State Fair, with a big cheese-tasting event in front of the Ag building that drew a steady stream of nibblers in the afternoon. They were sampling feta cheese from Tucumari Mountain Dairy, and several other kinds of goat milk cheese from Estancia, where the Lobaugh brothers run the Old Windmill Dairy.

“We make anything from the soft cheeses, the award-winning “Chili and Hot” and the “Holy Chipotle” to 26 flavors of chèvre,” said Ed Lobaugh. “We make a goat milk feta, we make a goat milk brie and bleu cheese, and a really nice smoked gouda.”

“People are still surprised,” said Michael Lobaugh. “They’re like, wow, goat cheese in new Mexico? Cheese in New Mexico? They think of New Mexico as chile – red or green – but there’s cheese here too!”

There are little boutique cheeseries (if that’s a word) springing up around the state, and there are giant plants that produce cheese for the big name brands like Kraft. There’s Southwest Cheese in Clovis, Leprino in Roswell, and F & A Dairy in Las Cruces.

Cheesy fact:  that Southwest plant in Clovis is reported to be the world’s largest cheddar cheese factory – right here in New Mexico!

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