Near Caineville, just outside Capitol Reef National Park, is the source of one of the most prized goat cheeses in Utah. Mesa Farms is tiny—only 50 acres—and owner Randy Ramsley produces more than cheese from his little farm. He also grows produce and bakes bread. The little purple house has become a favorite roadside stop for foodies in the know. Goats graze in the field out back on a management intensive system that protects the health of the landscape as well as the goats. Cheese is Mesa Farms’ star product, although there isn’t much of it. In 2017, Randy will milk 45 does, averaging about 18 gallons of milk a day, resulting in about 18 pounds of cheese. Caputo’s, in SLC, buys every bit of it, except what is sold at Mesa Farm Market in Caineville. According to Matt Caputo, “We have a 2.5 pound to 4 pound Tomme that we call ‘Barely Legal.’ This one is unpasteurized and is aged the minimum of 60 days, which is required for the sale of unpasteurized products. It’s an Italian style Toma.”
Mesa Farms produces three cheeses: chevre, feta and Tomme, an aged semi-hard alpine-type cheese with a naturally moldy rind. According to Ramsley, a French woman named Roseline stopped by Mesa Farms one day and became so fascinated with the cheese that she returned a year later with a French recipe for the Tomme, now prized by Utah chefs. Mesa Farm Market, Caineville, mesafarmmarket.com
See more inside the Spring 2017 issue.