1. What is Cajeta?
Cajeta is very similar to the ever popular dulce de leche, a dairy based confection that uses cow’s milk. Cajeta, on the other hand, has its roots in Mexico and is based on goat’s milk.
“Cajeta is a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelized milk. According to chef Rick Bayless, the name for cajeta came from the Spanish phrase al punto de cajeta, which means a liquid thickened to the point at which a spoon drawn through the liquid reveals the bottom of the pot in which it is being cooked. However, it is more popularly assumed that it takes its name from the small wooden boxes it was traditionally packed in. Mexican cajeta is considered a specialty of and popularly associated with the city of Celaya in the state of Guanajuato, although it is also produced with the traditional method in several towns of the state of Jalisco, such as Mazamitla and Sayula.” — Wikipedia
While standard caramel sauces are sugar-based (often times high fructose corn syrup) with very little dairy, cajeta is primarily a dairy based product. As a result, our caramel is incredibly creamy and is not as intensely sweet as conventional caramel sauces.
2. How do you make cajeta?
Ahh, it's a fascinating process, find out all about it peruse our favorite caramel recipes HERE.
3. How is goat's milk different than cow's milk?
The main difference between goat's milk and cow's milk is the size of the fat molecules. The fat molecules found in goat's milk are only a fraction of the size of the fat molecules found in cow's milk. This means that the fat molecules in goat's milk are broken down easily and are more readily available for use by your body.
If you are lactose intolerant and unable to drink cow's milk then there is a 50% chance that you will be able to tolerate goat's milk. Goat's milk contains less lactose than cow's milk. Goat's milk is also recommended if you are allergic to cow's milk. Your allergy is likely caused by a certain protein found in cow milk called alpha S1 casein protein. Both human milk and goat milk lacks this protein.
The fact that goat's milk is more similar to human breast milk than any other food already proves how nutritious it is.
4. Where can I buy your caramel sauces?
Find a map of our nation-wide retailers HERE.
5. What are the best uses for your caramel sauces?
The options are truly endless! You can: drizzle on ice cream, fruit, or cakes, dip apples or cookies, stir into coffee, hot chocolate or cocktails, spread on toast, bake into pies, tarts, breads and muffins, glaze carrots, sweet potatoes or ham, sweeten a marinade, combine with cholocate in any way you can think of, or (our preferred method) eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. Want more? Find some our favorite caramel recipes HERE. (Our all time favorite - baked brie with caramel - it will blow your mind. Promise.)
6. What ingredients do you use in your caramel?
Fresh goat's milk, organic cane sugar, whole organic vanilla beans, whole organic cinnamon sticks, Kentucky straight bourbon, organic sea salt, and trace amounts of organic cornstarch and baking soda. That's it! Simple, honest goodness.
7. Is your caramel gluten-free?
Yes it is! All of our caramel sauces are certified gluten-free.
1. How many goats do you have?
We currenlty have 54 milking does, 16 doelings who will be bred in the fall and will join the milking herd in the spring, and 4 bucks.
2. What kind of goats are they?
Our herd is mostly made up of French Alpine milking does and bucks, though we do have a couple of Saanens and Oberhaslis mixed in for hybrid vigor. We also have an adorably funny looking buck called Tonka who is a Nigerian Dwarf. In the fall, we breed Tonka to our yearlings in the hopes that they will have smaller, single babies, and therefore an easier birthing experience their first time around. And it usually works!
3. What do they eat?
Our goats spend the summer months grazing the green pastures surrounding our farm in Vermont. Their diet is supplementedby locally grown hay and grain.
4. Where do they live?
The does live together in our giant greenhouse barn. The roof and walls are made of strong but flexible plastic pulled tight over a metal frame. Like with a greenhouse, we are able to roll the side walls up and down to easily control heat and ventilation. The translucent plastic also lets in lots of warm, healthy sunlight. The bucks live in their own little bachelor pad on top of the hill over looking the ladies in their greenhouse. It's a nice view. :)
5. When and how do you milk your goats?
We milk our goats twice a day every day at 6:30am and 4:30pm in our little milking parlor. The goats enter the parlor from their holding pen through a little door in groups of eight. While the goats are eating their breakfast or dinner, they are milked by a machine operated by one of our four milkers. When all eight are done milking and eating, they sneak out of the parlor through another little door and into the paddock.
6. Do goats really eat tin cans?
Not really. Our goats will give just about anything a taste - they like nibbling on things, but in reality they are very picky eaters. They eat only the most succulent plants and flowers when they are out on pasture; they don't mow down everything in sight like cows and horses. They are natural browsers, so their favorite part of the day is when Judith takes them for a walk in the woods on the way home from the pasture every day. They get to nibble on leaves and ferns and berry bushes - they love everything under the category of "puckerbrush".
7. Are your goats friendly?
Our goats are very friendly. Some of them, like Flossy, are extra friendly and will demand a head rub from visitors while stealthily nibbling the buttons on their coat, while others, like Iris can be very shy.
1. How did you get started?
Fat Toad Farm started out as a simple experiment in homesteading. We wanted to test how self-sufficient we could be living off our own land, growing and preserving vegetables, planting orchards, raising our own animals for meat and bartering with neighbors for goods. Things started to get out of hand when we bought a couple of goats to add a source of dairy to our homesteading experiment. Then Josey, the oldest daughter, came home after several years living on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico with recipes for Cajeta or Goat’s Milk Caramel. The rest is history!
2. Who works on your farm?
Christine, Katie, Steve (holding Truvy) Judith, Calley, and Hannah (holding Driscoll - the littlest Fat Toad Farmer)
3. Can I visit? How do I get there?
Yes please! Come visit! Our farm is open for guided tours on the weekends and holidays. During the week, you can visit our farm store, open 10-4pm, and take a self-guided tour. Find additional details and driving directions HERE.