Goat with the Wind Dairy

Goat with the Wind Dairy (2)

As you drive on the rocky and uneven road down to the Goat with the Wind (Halav im HaRuach) organic dairy, a solar-powered goat farm near the village of Yodfat in the Galilee region, you are taken back in time. I felt like I was in Biblical times, a shepherdess walking to visit my friends up the hill who sell amazing cheeses. The air was clean and fresh, and the view was breathtakingly beautiful which made me forget about all the stresses and normal day-to-day life.

Goat with the Wind Gate

Lunch with a View (1)

Amnon and Dalia, who studied cheesemaking in Italy, have made everything beautiful: the stone buildings, the restaurant kitchen, the treehouse-like dining rooms; even the barn for the goats has beautiful hand-painted doors that I wanted to take off their hinges and take home with me.

Content Goats with the Wind

Goats with the Wind

The goats look so happy and are so well taken care of that it makes you want to try the goat’s milk, cheeses and yogurt even more.

Goat with the Wind Dairy

Mr BT and our friends Cassia and Massimo stopped here for their dairy lunch. As we entered the restaurant, we were seated in our own little balcony that overlooked the area.

Goat with the Wind Dairy (1)

The table was decorated with Indian fabrics and we sat on small wicker stools. I loved the wooden plates and decorative place settings with the fragrant lavender.

Goat with the Wind Ricotta

Goat with the Wind Labane

They bring out a selection of all of their cheeses which are all delicious, but the real stars of the show are their ricotta, which is some of the best I have ever had in Israel, their labane, and their yogurt.

Goat with the Wind Eggplant Salad

Goat with the Wind Salad

And we all loved their salads, which were perfectly seasoned and showcased our fantastic vegetables here in Israel. The thing I loved was that not all of the salads had tomatoes in them because I am allergic to raw tomato. The lunch is all you can eat, so you can stuff yourself silly.

Goat with the Wind Dessert

The meal closed with this adorable presentation of a chocolate brownie and a nut tart.

Happy Goat with the Wind

I highly recommend a visit to the farm, and if you want to take some ricotta back home with you, make sure you pre-order it when you book a table. The farm welcomes volunteers to work on the farm who will perform tasks such as cleaning, gardening, feeding the animals, milking the goats, decorating or carpentry work.

Oh, and if you happen to need to use the loo, then don’t worry. It is in an outhouse, but with a real toilet and a sink to wash up. In fact, it is a rather beautiful outhouse.

By the way, Halav im HaRuach is pun on the Hebrew translation of the film title “Gone with the Wind”: Halaf im HaRuach.

Ein Kamonim Goat Farm

Ein_Kamonim_Goat_Farm

Amiram and Drora Obrutsky started the Ein Camonim goat farm in 1979. They took the name Ein Camonim from Ephraim Kishon’s book The Fox in the Chicken-Coop, which is about an aging Knesset member who is told to take time off after he collapses during a speech and finds himself in a backward Israeli village far from civilization.

Ein_Kamonim_White_Alpine_Goat

Amiram Avrutzki got into the dairy business “by accident” when a friend asked him if he could look after a herd of goats because he was short of space. Drora, who didn’t want to waste the goats’ milk, started to make cheese from it. At first, she made the cheese in her kitchen and then she studied the art of cheese-making abroad.

Ein_Kamonim_Black_Alpine_Goat

Amiram started researching the different breeds of goats in other countries: he discovered a breed of Alpine goat that produces 1,000 litres of milk a year as opposed to  the 140 litres produced by the goats native to Israel. After dealing with a lot of bureaucratic red tape, Amiram was given permission to import Alpine goats from France, and he is now an expert who exchanges information with other goat breeders around the world.

Ein_Kamonim_Old_Scale

Ein Kamonim was one of the first dairies in Israel to make boutique cheeses directly on the farm.

Ein_Kamonim_Cheese

They produce about thirty different kinds of cheese, which are all made from the milk of their herd. All the milk is whole and pasteurized and all the ingredients are natural without preservatives or food coloring.

Ein_Kamonim_Cheese (1)

You can buy all of their cheeses and delicious goat’s yogurt in the dairy shop.

Ein_Kamonim_Fig_Walnut_Jam

Don’t leave without bringing home a jar of their delicious fig and walnut jam, which goes well on top of most of their cheeses or slathered on buttered bread.

Ein_Kamonim_Restaurant_Al_Fresco

The best way to try all of their cheeses on offer is to dine al fresco at their beautiful restaurant

Ein_Kamonim_Cheese_Platter

and enjoy their “all-you-can-eat” cheese platter,

Ein_Kamonim_Salad_Labane_Lunch

which comes with a variety of salads, olives,

Ein_Kamonim_Salad_Bread_Lunch (1)

and a lovely basket of fresh whole grain rolls. It also includes a carafe of wine, water and homemade lemonade.

Ein Kamonim Goat Farm and Restaurant
Acre-Safed Highway 85, between Hanania Intersection & Nahal Amud
Ein Camonim
Phone: 057-942-8691

Schwartzman Dairy – Cheese Made with Love

I am so lucky to live in a small country where I have the opportunity to meet so many interesting people. I especially enjoy meeting people who take pride in their work and make products with love, like Ziv Schwartzman does.

Early in our courtship, Mr. BT invited me to go away on our first weekend trip to the North. He booked a lovely zimmer in a sleepy village, known for its history, called Bat Shlomo, which is not far inland from Zichron Yaakov. Bat Shlomo was founded in 1889 and is one of the earliest Jewish settlements of the modern period. The original village consists of one charming street that contains beautiful stone houses with terracotta tiled roofs; the one above is my dream house.

However, we didn’t  manage to visit Bat Shlomo’s most important attraction during that trip because we were busy visiting other places and friends who lived in the area. It took us eight years before we had a chance to go back during working hours and make up for the missed opportunity.

When you enter the archway to the courtyard of Schwartzman Dairy, you are transported back in time to a period when the early settlers built the country with their hands, and cutting stones and setting them into walls was still backbreaking work.

The family has done a lovely job of decorating the courtyard with old pots, sewing machines, cartwheels, and plows in every nook and cranny.

The store, where you can taste and purchase all of their cheeses on offer, also serves as a museum displaying family photographs from 100 years ago, documents from the Turkish and British era, farm tools, household utensils, and family heirlooms.

The storefront brought a smile to my face and reminded me of the old dry-goods stores that were in most small towns in the United States. Okay, they didn’t sell labane and olives, but still.

Ziv Schwartzman is a third generation cheesemaker, olive grower, and producer of olive oil. He wants you to love his cheese as much as he loves making it, and you can’t help submitting to his enthusiasm, because all of his organic cow and goat cheeses are delicious, have depth of flavour and make you want to take some home, which of course we did.

We left with a bag full of goodies, including delicious labane with herbs, and black raspberry jam.

We also brought home a Tzfatit with herbs, Tomme, and a Chevrotine.  The cheese at the bottom of the picture is an English cheddar with cranberries that we purchased elsewhere.

We also sampled their delicious homegrown olives, olive oil, and jams.

They also sell a variety of spices, pickled vegetables, and bottles of soda pop from days gone by.

You can order a cheese platter and other goodies to eat on the premises and wash it down with their hot cider or if you’re lucky enough you can try their orgasmic malabi with carob and date honey, which Ziv graciously gave us to taste. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the watery malabi with fake raspberry syrup, and the even worse parve version with fake chocolate syrup and coconut that you find in restaurants; but as Ziv said, “This is not Tel Aviv malabi!”. This, my friends, is the best damn malabi I have ever had and I am sure he will not part with the recipe. It is milky, silky, and not too sweet; the combination of date honey and carob honey is a perfect marriage and I am going back very soon to have another one.

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