Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Day of Indulgence - Part One


Saturday provided the perfect spring afternoon for GWG to visit Elodie Farms in Rougemont for Family Farm Day, an event sponsored by Durham Central Market, that welcomed guests to explore the 21-acre farm and show support for several local products.

Owner Dave Artigues opened his home and land to families, fans and their four-legged friends creating an event that felt like a big neighborhood picnic. Visitors toured the farm, got an insider's look at making goat cheese (as well as samples!), and enjoyed a meet-and-greet with the goats and the newest kids in the flock (check out the slideshow for cute farm pictures). Also on hand were tasty treats from Locopops, Dolly Mama handmade chocolates, and wine from Benjamin Vineyards.

Elodie Farms raises both meat and dairy goats, and is probably best known for their farmstead cheeses sold at the Durham Farmers' Market and served at many well-known restaurants in the Triangle. Products include traditional French goat cheese (Chevre) rolled in or flavored with a variety of fresh ingredients, as well as feta, Camembert, Queso Fresco, and a variety of hard cheeses.

Family Farm Day gave us the chance to sample several of these cheeses, including the traditional log and flavored Chevres. We tried three flavors--strawberry, fig with North Carolina sourwood honey, and roasted garlic. The savory garlic was bold without overpowering the flavor of the milk. The sweeter flavors were delicious and could easily be served as a light summer dessert.

Also local to the Triangle, sweet frozen treats from Locopops were available in three beloved flavors--Cookies and Cream, Mexican Chocolate and Cherry-Lime. We tried the first two, both dairy based flavors (paletas de crema), and had a hard time picking a favorite. Cookies and Cream is a classic but the Locopops version comes loaded with chocolate cookie chunks (finding a whole cookie appears to be standard practice). Mexican Chocolate seemed a bit more adventurous but the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors are right at home in the chocolate cream. We look forward to the warm weather for a good excuse to try more of their funky flavors.

Durham-based Dolly Mama Chocolates hit the nail on the head when it comes to quality, presentation and flavor! The beautiful chocolates were almost too perfect to eat but boy were we glad we did. Although we were not able to sample everything, the three we tried have made us Dolly Mama Believers.

First, the hazelnut cone--this beautiful cone shape was a combination of freshly toasted hazelnut butter and milk chocolate inside a chocolate shell. There was even a surprise whole toasted hazelnut in the center to add a nutty crunch. Next, the Golden Buddha--a chocolate ganache inside a dark chocolate shell and finished with a beautiful gold tint. Lastly, a chocolate peanut butter egg that was so rich and creamy it was out of this world. A thin coating of white chocolate covered a milk chocolate peanut butter combination.

The afternoon on the farm was a pleasant beginning to a day of indulgence and only began to wet our taste buds. Stay tuned for part two later this week!

1 comment: