Unless you grew up with goats, there's a good chance you know little of them beyond that occasional creamy cheese you lick from your sandwich wrapper. Goatlessness is a sad condition of urban dwelling, but it doesn't have to be. Goats are wonderful beasts -- intelligent, playful, and picky eaters who get sidelined in the public imagination as mindless garbage-munching creatures.
As one would expect, Northern California is rife with advocates who are ready to change our minds about that, and they'll be here Saturday to feed you and teach you about the glory of goats and all they produce at the Fifth Annual Goat Festival. The festival is the project of CUESA, the Ferry Building Marketplace, and the Northern California Makers of Goat Milk Products.
There's a lot to love about goats, and as a country, we are really quite late to the party. Goat is the most widely consumed meat in the world, and goat milk the most benign kind of dairy to our crotchety and fickle human bodies. Utility aside, goats are adorable. There's a better chance that your sidekick as a child, dear reader, was a puppy than it was a goat, but if you've ever seen a doe-eyed baby goat respond to its name, do a trick, let you dress it up and then jump into your arms, you know we've been missing out. Plus, you can't milk a puppy.
The festival is an orgy of goat fun. You'll be fed lots of goat cheeses, confections, and milk products, while slathering goat-milk-based cosmetics all over your body before galloping to the "petting stable" where Redwood Hill Farms will have deposited a pocketful of baby goats for you to cradle, coo at, and thoughtfully Instagram while maligning your childhood as a goatless waste.
If this doesn't adequately fill the goat-shaped void in your soul, there will be more -- classes and talks by goat breeders, lovers, advocates, and business owners. Beginning at 11am, there will be goat-centric food demonstrations by chef and nutritionist Cheryl Forberg and Alicia Jenish (Grand Café Restaurant). If you're harboring a pot of burning questions about goats, you can throw them to Scott Bice -- farm manager of Redwood Hill Farms and general goat expert -- who will be on hand as a bottomless trove of goat knowledge to put your mind at ease.
At the time of writing, we're coming off a rich and hefty Jersey cow milk bender. After a week of scooping the butter-yellow cream from the top of Jersey milk jars, we're feeling thoroughly hip, luxe, and sated. Switching milks sounded unthinkable, until we ran to the store during a prolonged bout of procrastination for some goat milk kefir (in the name of research), and found ourselves neck deep in creamy goodness. While we'd love to drown you in the sexy hyberbole of this milk experience, we'll just send you to the market instead.
You can find the schedule on the CUESA website.