In this episode of Our Portuguese Table, we chat with Barbara Borges-Martin, also known as the Dairy Goddess of Lemoore, California. With roots in Terceira and Pico, Barbara is following in her family’s footsteps. Her grandparents met in Boston before heading to California to start a dairy.
Barbara and her family on their dairy!
Barbara’s cheese-making adventures began when she took a cheese-making course at Cal Poly. The Dairy Goddess now offers 6 types of Fromage Blanc, or French-style fresh cheese (also spreadable). Barbara was inspired by her favorite places and flavors during her career as a travel agent in Southern California in creating specialty flavors, which range from "Azores" (made with Malagueta chili pepper paste) to the "Central Coast" (made with Santa Maria seasoning & dill) to "The Valley" (made with peaches, almonds & honey). The Valley is her Oscar-winning cheese, having won 1st place in the American Cheese Society’s Fresh Cheese category.
Some Dairy Goddess fans visit Barbara at the Pismo Beach festa
The ladies talk about the importance of supporting local farmers and agricultural tourism (agritourism). The conversation soon turned to couves (kale or collard greens?) and how we’ve been eating them since before they were ‘cool’. Weigh in on the translation debate, please! Barbara’s favorite dish is her grandmother’s sopa de nabo or turnip soup.