Heatherlane Farms: "Cheese is a lot sexier," goat farmer Yvonne Cobourn sighs when asked why more area dairies aren't making a range of value-added products, like her Mountain Made Goat Milk Fudge (pictured here). "A lot of people only think in terms of using goat milk for cheese, but I think fudge is fun."
The Cobourns' HeatherLane Farms, a certified Grade B goat dairy in Woodfin, this year became the first goat farm statewide to produce its own fudge. The fudge, Cobourn is quick to clarify, bears little resemblance to the slabs of well-preserved sweet stuff peddled at tourist traps.
"A lot of what you see in Gatlinburg is made in machines with prepackaged mixes, so all the fudge tastes the same no matter where you go," Cobourn says. "Ours is actually made the old-fashioned way on stovetops."
The Cobourns are currently making three varieties of fudge: chocolate, peanut butter flecked with sea-salted peanuts and white chocolate threaded with coconut. While Cobourn says that even fudge connoisseurs can't taste the difference between cow- and goat-milk fudge, the latter is considerably creamier: "That's why we package it in containers instead of cutting it into squares," she says.
The Cobourns are now working on a line of fudge truffles and recently began offering party trays. "Judging by the phone calls, it's an overwhelming success," Cobourn reports.
Mountain Made Goat Milk Fudge is available at The Big Cheese in the Grove Arcade, the Mountain Sunshine stand at the WNC Farmer's Market, Neda's Little Corner and the Black Mountain and Weaverville weekly tailgate markets. For more information, visit www.heatherlanefarm.com.
Wink: A Biltmore Village boutique is giving shoppers a chance to trade their cans for couture this month. Wink is partnering with MANNA FoodBank to collect 300 pounds of food and is counting on its customers to help: Contributing four or more cans to the effort is good for a 20-percent discount off any nonsale, non-hair product throughout July. A donation of any number of cans wins the giver the chance to enter a raffle for a Wink gift basket valued at $250. To learn more, call 277-4070.
Luella'S: The long wait for 'cue is over in north Asheville, where Luella's Bar-B-Que relocated this month. The restaurant has shut down its south Asheville store and is now open Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m., at 501 Merrimon Ave. For more information, call 505-7427.
Mountain Ale And Lager Tasters: Members of M.A.L.T. will converge upon Sunny Point Café this Sunday, July 18, for a homebrew competition at which even noncontestants will be treated to beer samples and thoroughly local hot dogs (Hickory Nut Gap wieners, slathered with Lusty Monk mustard and plopped in West End Bakery buns). Admission to the event, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m., is $10, with proceeds going toward Slow Food Asheville's Pisgah View Garden Cooking program. To learn more about attending the event — or submitting a brew — visit www.slowfoodasheville.org.