In 2007 Fat Toad Farm was established in Brookfield, VT. Steve Reid, his wife Judith, and their daughters Hannah, Josey and Calley set forth to live off their land. With the addition of dairy goats they started experimenting in the kitchen and the rest is sweet history.
Hannah tells us a bit about everyone’s role on the farm: “My dad, Steve, was the original goat enthusiast. On particularly long, hard days on the farm we enjoy blaming him for getting us all in this mess. To be totally honest, everyone does everything around here, but I suppose we all have areas of expertise. Steve is the herd manager, lead milker, and our finance guru. My step-mom Judith and step-sister Calley are the caramel mavens – in charge of all facets of caramel production – and too many other things to count. In addition to stirring caramel I am in charge of all things marketing – e.g. website and literature design, social media, advertising events, etc. We have two full-time employees, Katie and Christine, who, like all of us, wears many different hats. The family has spent the last seven years building a high-quality herd of Alpine, Saanan, and Oberhalsi milking goats and perfecting the art of caramel making.”
Hannah: “The FTF team currently milks 50 goats every day, twice a day, and uses the fresh, sweet milk to make their unique goat’s milk caramel sauces. Fat Toad Farm’s caramel (the traditional Mexican confection known as Cajeta) is the happy result of combining a small number of fresh, simple, natural ingredients and a lotta love (and stirring).”
This hard working family creates an amazing product that should be at the very top of your must try list. Fat Toad Farm’s goat’s milk caramel sauces are sweet, smooth, and very rich. I first fell in love with the caramel inside of a “caramel explosion” truffle at Nutty Steph’s in Middlesex, VT.
I asked Nutty Steph’s owner Jacqueline Rieke to tell me why she uses Fat Toad Farm caramel. Jacqueline writes, “It is the most delicious and refined liquid caramel being made in this country. In other countries, this product is called “dulce de leche” and is a widespread dessert and confectionary ingredient for the Spanish and French. But Fat Toad Farm is one of the only American companies even making farm-fresh goat milk caramel. And it is of course completely natural, nourishing, and right down the road from our chocolate shop – ahh, Vermont!”
I shared a jar of Salted Bourbon Caramel with my friend Emily and asked her for her review. This is what she said, “This caramel sauce is a great excuse to have dessert, or just a snack! Turn ordinary treats into gourmet. Take your run-of-the-mill ice cream sandwich. Pretty good on its own. But now dip it in Fat Toad caramel. Gourmet yummy! I imagine an Oreo cookie would be equally delightful. We could all use more fruit in our diet. Bananas and apples are a great match, but I wouldn’t stop there. The flavor of this caramel is nostalgic for me, because it reminds me of a caramel goat cheese that my mom used to serve me when I was little.”
My jar of Vanilla Bean Caramel is not going to last long because it is out-of-this-world delicious. While a little goes a long way, it’s hard to stop with just a little. I will be honest…. I don’t use mine as a topping for ice cream (though it’s a great idea), I have eaten half a jar with just a spoon. It’s unbelievably smooth and rich. The warmth from the vanilla bean brings this caramel to a whole new dimension. I will try my best to not eat the other half of the jar (tonight!) and save it as I have endless ideas to showcase this wonderful product including homemade ice cream or a caramel cheesecake. Who wants to come over for dessert?
Fat Toad Farm’s products can be found in over 300 specialty food stores nationwide, including Whole Foods and Williams- Sonoma. You can also purchase their sweets online visit their farm store and their sweet (pun intended) goats.
The winners of this giveaway are martinfioretti@ and cmurray@. Congratulations! Check your email.