Petaluma’s Achadinha Cheese Company produces two truly superb goat’s milk cheeses: Capricious a rich hand-rolled, naturally-aged cheese with a savory depth, and Broncha, a fresh yet flavorsome table cheese. They also make an exceptional Feta cheese soaked in a sea salt brine.
Achadinha‘s Jim Pacheco is a third generation dairyman on both sides of his family. In 2000 Jim and his wife, Donna began the Cheese Company along with their four children and now run the dairy and business also as a labor of love.
Donna feeds her goats (whom she fondly calls her “girls”) a high alkaline diet making their cheese both healthier and easier to digest. Donna’s “girls” are not fed corn, as the Pacheco’s have discovered that not only can’t their goat’s digest it properly but it also shortens their lifespan by at least 3 years. Instead, they goat’s diet is supplemented by spent brewer’s grain from nearby breweries such as Bear Republic & Russian River Brewing Company. The touch of alcohol left in the fermented grain gives the goats a nice little buzz and the yeast provides them significant additional nutrition.
The Pacheco’s are also careful to keep pesticides off their pastures and hormones out of their animals. Seasonality strongly effects the flavors found in their cheese and during the winter months an attentive taster will be able to discern the sweetness from the green clover versus the bitterness from the spent brewers grain that is more evident in the summer.
You can find Achadinha’s fine cheese products at Farmers’ Markets throughout the Bay area. In San Francisco, they are available at The Ferry Plaza Market, and the Farmers Markets at both Clement Street and Grove St. on Sundays.