Made by Donna Pacheco of Achadinha (pronouned osh-a-deen-a) Cheese Company near Petaluma in Sonoma County, California, Capricious is produced from pasteurized goat’s milk.
Donna and her husband Jim, who is a third generation dairyman, sold their cows in 1997, replacing them with dairy goats. Their herd now numbers approximately 1600, all of which are pastured on 290 acres of grass supplemented by alfalfa hay and brewer’s grain from local breweries.
The Pachecos began cheesemaking in 2004. While much of the goat’s milk is sold to a local yogurt producer, Donna holds back as much as she needs in order to make her Capricious, Broncha and Feta cheeses.
Capricious is made in the style of a trafitional Californian Dry Jack in that wheels are formed by gathering the curd up tightly in a cloth and rolling it slightly before pressing. The resulting cheese has rounded edges with distinct, rugged indentations on the top side where the cloth has been drawn together and knotted.
After pressing, cheeses are aged for between 7-12 months. This gives the cheeses a hard texture with a smooth, slightly waxy rind. Flavors are sweet and almost caramelly with a slightly assertive finish.
Pacheco says she loves Capricious with pear, figs and apples or grated over asparagus and pasta salads. “I love to take a fig in season cut off the top and put a little piece of Capricious inside of the fig and bake it for 10 minutes.”