More than any other style of cheese produced in Ohio, goat cheese is the standout, says cheesemonger Mike Kast of Curds & Whey. "The goat cheese has skyrocketed in quality and flavors," Kast says, adding Ohio goat milk is considered among some of the best in the country, a factor directly linked to the state's rich, green pastures and farmland. "The soil and the grass make goat cheese so much better. You get more mineral-ness to it. You get more of a creamy butteriness."

More than any other style of cheese produced in Ohio, goat cheese is the standout, says cheesemonger Mike Kast of Curds & Whey. “The goat cheese has skyrocketed in quality and flavors,” Kast says, adding Ohio goat milk is considered among some of the best in the country, a factor directly linked to the state’s rich, green pastures and farmland. “The soil and the grass make goat cheese so much better. You get more mineral-ness to it. You get more of a creamy butteriness.”

Critics seem to agree. Last year, the goat gouda from Turkeyfoot Creek Creamery, just outside Toledo, nabbed a first place medal from American Dairy Goat Products. Other national award-winning producers include Cleveland’s Lake Erie Creamery (named outstanding dairy in 2008 by the Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Awards) and goat cheese producer Mackenzie Creamery in Hiram (an artisan cheese pioneer that’s been collecting national awards since 2007).

The positive feedback has opened state creameries up to playful variations on their goat cheese, too. Lake Erie Creamery makes flavored goat cheese spreads, including Tarragon and Orange. Mackenzie offers chevre flavors like Blueberry Lemon and Herbs de Provence.