This last week we had the opportunity to visit one of the many Farm to Table destination spots on Kelowna's trail of local cuisine. This trail of local farmers supplying local restaurants, who in turn are supporting local growers, is a beautiful guide to the unique cuisine and tastes the Okanagan Valley has to offer the world.
I knew the Okanagan was special when growing up, but until I moved away I really didn't understand fully how amazing it actually is. I have talked many times about the abundance of fresh produce and products that are available in a 100 kilometer span. Where my parents live in particular, is conveniently located near world renowned wineries, along with 5 star restaurants. They also don't live far from many produce stands that supply locals with veggies and fruit right from their backyards.
Carmelis is the one I am wanting to highlight today. It is located past Bertram Creek Park, and about 12 kilometers from down town Kelowna. Nestled up in the rocky terrain of the mountain, these goats have plenty of room to frolic and play the way they are meant too.
Sorry the last picture isn't the best quality I had to take it with my cell phone, but you get the point! Plus bonus if you can spot the other animal in the picture.
When you arrive to their location, you park out on the street just above the property. As you walk down the hill to their shop, you are greeted by all the sweet little goats up on the mountain side. My children loved saying hi to them and thought they were pretty cool climbers.
As you walk down to their shop and enter into it's doors you are greeted by a kind and welcoming employee. They have shelves with locally crafted products, and also with crackers that are made by Lesley Stowe named "raincoast crackers", they are made right in BC in Richmond. Then you have the coolers with their hand crafted cheese and goats milk gelato.
I was not able to get any good pictures of the coolers of cheese and the gelato because there was that many people inside. It was crowded in front of the glass cases. They offer a cheese tasting for $2.00 a person, where you are able to try all of their hand crafted cheeses. Their gelato has 24 flavours, all of them I wish I could have eaten. We all had a small cup size, which they allow you to have 2 flavours. I chose the black cherry and the cherry cheesecake. I am telling you they were so wonderful, the texture was silky and the slight tang that goats milk gives made it so refreshing. My children had watermelon, mango and mint chocolate chip, then my husband had banana chocolate and Skor bit.
After having our ice-cream, I went over to the cheese and picked out the ones I wanted. I chose the Goatgonzola, Chabichou, and the Chevry Dill & Onion. We also chose two compotes to pair with the cheese and the fig and olive crackers. The two compotes are from Wildly Delicious, the one flavor is Tart Cherry and Almond, the second was Caramelized Onion and Balsamic. They paired beautifully with the chevry and chabichou cheese. They had recommended the Goatgonzola to use in a fondue or grilled cheese because it melts wonderfully.
If you get the chance to visit Carmelis Goat Cheese in person I know you won't regret it, plus you will be supporting local business. When it is not super smoky out there is also a beautiful view of the Okanagan lake and valley. This shop highlights their care into their products as everything is organic and made in small batches so they can control the quality in each batch.
My husband and I are going to make our way through the list of Farm to Table destinations in Kelowna, and try something new every time. It is an adventure in food that I know I love going on.
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