Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cheese with soul

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Chag sameach--happy Shavuot holiday!

I already told you the story of how I discovered the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments in a Swiss lake.
I've posted about Ruth and Naomi and Boaz, and about the customs of Shavuot, about reinventing ritual with art, and about hearing the thunder of Mt. Sinai.

So what else is there to tell about Shavuot?
About the custom of eating dairy foods on that holiday, of course!
Cheesecake, blintzes, soft cheese, hard cheese . . .

So recently I made a "pilgrimage" up to Har Eitan, to the goat farm hidden in a wild and wildly beautiful landscape in the Jerusalem Hills.

Goat cheese at its very best!
Many different varieties of prize-winning artisan cheeses.
And yogurt, too, to drink cold from the bottle.

The cheese tasting and selling is done in this cave next to one of the goat pens.
Resistance is futile.

Sit under a tree and soak up the mountain air as you enjoy some wine and cheese.

These terraced hills where the herd grazes are ancient.
See the pretty goats at my previous post about the farm, as well as how to get there.

Ta-da! Here is the master cheesemaker himself, my old friend Shai Seltzer.

Learn more about Shai, his goats, cheesemaking, and the farm at his nice website.
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UPDATE: There is a nice new article, "Israeli Cheese Goes Artisanal," that tells about Shai and other "boutique cheesemakers."
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21 comments:

Robin said...

Mmmm... Have I mentioned lately how much I love this holiday? (And how I ate myself absolutely silly at a party this afternoon? Yikes...)

Sara said...

Shalom Dina! Chag sameach to you.

Having recently learned about the Shavuot tradition of eating dairy foods, today I enjoyed a pastry with cream cheese and strawberries! I wonder if we Christians have any such delicious traditions for Pentecost; guess I could google that. And now I am off to visit all your interesting links in this post.

crystal said...

Happy Shavuot holiday!

The goat farm is so picturesque - the terraced hill and the cave walls. I've only been to one cheese making place, one in Petaluma .... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marin_French_Cheese_Company

... but for me the vegetarian, every day is a daity food day :)

luluberoo said...

you make it sound delicious, especially the yogurt drink.

I'm looking forward to cheesecake for Shavuot!

Robert Geiss said...

How very wonderful an environment you live in ! Once I got lost in a forest and met a woman with goats, she offered fresh milk, and the way I've to walk. Yes, people who make cheese are to be grateful of.
Please have a good new week.

Scrappy Grams said...

yogurt and cheese are two of my favorite foods, and to have them fresh- how delightful! two of my friends have become vegans, but the loss of those two foods makes me hesitate...uh, I think not.
~blessings~

Patsy said...

Happy Shavuot holiday!

Petrea Burchard said...

This is absolutely beautiful, Dina. It sounds like an idyllic place to visit.

spacedlaw said...

A cheese celebration?! How wonderful.

Birdman said...

Maybe your next post could be about ALL the calories gained? Better not. hahahaha

Hels said...

Ooooooohhh I love blintzes, cheese cake, mushrooms and sour cream etc etc. Favourie holiday of the whole year. Hope it was a good one for you, too.

Mary Christine said...

What beautiful photos!

Rob and Mandy said...

Gosh, what a nice place! Happy Shavuot!

This is Belgium said...

nice you to learn more about these customs

VP said...

My compliments to the cheesemaker! What a great and natural setting...

Spiderdama said...

Would love to visit that goat farm, but goat chees not Norwegian..ajaj, not:-)

mirae said...

what a beautiful experience when nature is your sole companion and you taste and touch and smell her so reverentialy.
and drink to the wine of life.
shalom

Kay said...

Yae! Thank you for posting a photo of yourself, Dina! I love seeing you again. I wish we could sample some cheese (and wine) with you under the tree.

Pat said...

Happy Shavout holiday (somewhat late), Dina. This goat farm looks charming and picturesque. The dairy foods Shai Seltzer makes sound heavenly.

Hilda said...

"Resistance is futile." Who said anything about resisting?? Looks and sounds wonderful!

Reader Wil said...

I love goat cheese!