$6.59 For Cheese...Must Be Local

When I can, I buy local ingredients. I feel like I'm doing my good deed for the day, and sometimes they just plain taste better. But when the price for local is almost double the competitor's price, I break my rule and forgo it.

Susan Holle started Cheesygirl in Sealy, Texas, after leaving her career as an executive for a large healthcare provider. She prides herself on making vegetarian cheese with vegetarian rennet, a necessary ingredient for cheese making. She makes classic goat cheeses, spreads and something called Satin Doll. So far, I've only found her goat cheese spreads.

I'd been eyeing Cheesygirl for months at H-E-B, but I could not bring myself to pay the hefty price. Without fail, I always walked out of the store with a non-local goat cheese that was half the price. But after hearing someone rave about it at a party, my curiosity got the better of me. I broke down and bought a tub of the Plain Jane and the Hottie got cheeses. It was time to see if this goat cheese from Sealy, Texas was worth it.

Fortunately, my money was well spent. The Plain Jane has a creamy texture and rich cheesy flavor without being too strong. The Hottie, made with Texas jalapeños, has a nice kick. It was hard to stop eating. Plus, I recognized every item on the ingredient list - there were none of those strange preservatives that I'm pretty sure will come back to haunt me when I'm old. Next time I feel like splurging, I'll try the Femme Fatale spread with herbs -- and not just for the name.

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