Inaugural Cheese, The Tropics by CheeseandChampagne

Though Colleen introduced us (and, hopefully, the president-elect, whom I’m sure is reading this blog) to some fabulous cheeses local to Washington, D.C., we can’t overlook the cheesy offerings of Obama’s home state of Hawaii. Hawaii may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think about cheese, but there are two great cheesemakers from the islands that you can visit if you can tear yourself away from the beach for a few hours.

During a trip to Maui three years ago, I discovered a brochure for the Surfing Goat Dairy, a small goat-cheese farm owned and operated by German expatriates Thomas and Eva Kafsack. Naturally, I wanted to visit. My husband rolled his eyes. But since it was on the way back to our cottage from the Haleakala Crater, I convinced him to stop at the farm one day. We were the only visitors at the time, which gave me plenty of time to taste all the wonderful goat cheeses that Surfing Goat Dairy makes: fresh chevres studded with herbs and flavorings and aged cheeses, too. I brought home a selection of the fresh chevres for my goat-cheese-loving friend and co-worker and kept the delicious Purple Rain chevre (mixed with lavender) for myself. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find Surfing Goat cheeses outside Hawaii, but the Kafsacks do ship the cheeses worldwide.