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Valley Shepherd Ewegurt: It’s Baaaa…ck

May 24, 2010

By Pat Tanner

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know that I am (a) a big fan of the cheeses of Valley Shepherd, Eran Wosjwol’s dairy farm in Long Valley, and (b) virtually addicted to his Nettlesome, an herbaceous sheep and cow milk cheese containing nettles.

But Valley Shepherd’s sheep’s milk yogurt, called Ewegurt, runs a close second. As the website claims, it is thick enough to pass the spoon test – think of the consistency of traditional Greek yogurt (such as Fage brand), but here, ewe’s milk results in a slightly different flavor and tang than regular cow’s milk yogurt.

I first realized years ago, on a trip to Morocco, that really good plain yogurt could be enjoyed unsweetened and unflavored. There it was served as dessert, and I couldn’t believe how silky, creamy, smooth, and enjoyable it was – totally unlike the acrid stuff of supermarkets which even to this day I cannot eat unadorned. I’ll never know what kind of milk the Moroccan stuff was made with – goat or camel are not impossibilities – but I never forgot its taste and appeal.

Hence my addiction to Ewegurt, which is available about nine or ten months a year, starting in mid-April. It is as welcome a harbinger of spring as any I can name. When it first comes onto the market, I consume it plain or with either a drizzle of local maple syrup, which I get from Sweet Sourlands Farm in Hopewell, or a swizzle of honey, such as the wild thyme & flower honey I picked up recently at A Taste of Crete in Hillsborough. But as Jersey berries ripen, I  toss in whichever ones are in season – beginning now with strawberries, then around the Fourth of July switching to blueberries, and following thereafter with raspberries and blackberries. (Depending on growing conditions, blackberries sometimes require a bit of sugar.)

Sheep’s milk yogurt has a couple of other noteworthy things going for it. It is more stable than cow’s milk yogurt when used in cooking and, according to a farm in Maine that also makes and sells ewegurt, it has twice as much calcium and protein as cow’s milk yogurt and five times the amount of B vitamins.

Valley Shepherd Ewegurt is sold at 13 seasonal farmers markets around the area, at the Creamery itself, and via its website. For details visit valleyshepherd.com.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2010 11:24 am

    Very good info, so add my insight, but I also discuss similar things on my blog.

  2. May 27, 2010 10:40 am

    This is a lovely article. Food Journalism is meant to make us inquisitive and hungry. The article succeeds on all cylinders. Not only am I inquisitive to seek out the ingredients, but I am also hungry to try the Ewegurt!

    I wonder if I can get over there today?

    Cheers!

    Warren Bobrow
    Editor-Wild River Review/Wild Table

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