Cheese lovers will be happy to hear that our Cheese Plate has been expanded to include five unique artisan cheeses. So luscious and flavor-packed, these may even tempt the staunchest vegans to sample a bite of each.
Working with San Juan Island Cheese across the street, we've been able to showcase a variety of cheeses each week, so the selection varies. These are some of the cheeses that we've featured.
Abbaye de Belloc
is a gastronomic gem. This semi-firm sheep milk cheese from the Pays Basque region in south west France has a sweet, delicate flavor and firm, creamy texture with caramel tones. When sliced very thin, it gradually melts on the palate, revealing a nutty/fruity flavor followed by a very clean finish. Originally it was made by the monks at the abbey of Notre-Dame de Belloc in the 1960’s, but now much of it is made at local farms near the abbey. It is 60% milk fat, made from the local Manech breed milk, and aged between 4 and 10 months. The hard rind is coated with sweet paprika, which gives the cheese a reddish hue under brown and grey molds.
from Mt. Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend, WA is hand-crafted using the best local milk from the region. As the North Olympic Peninsulas’ first artisan creamery, the owners have built the business on innovation as well as tradition. Named for the rock formations that adorn Washington’s coastline, Seastack combines complex flavor with distinct aesthetic qualities. This soft ripened, semi-lactic set cheese received a dusting of vegetable ash before ripening to enhance its earth flavor and visual appeal. Interesting to note, the creamery is housed in a retrofitted fifty year old warehouse that has been home to boat builders, glass repair companies, a radical fringe book publisher, and most recently the local Department of Licensing – a perfect example of sustainable development.
is a magnificent Roquefort-style cheese, made by hand with passion, dedication and innovation from Rouge Creamery,
Oregon. It is the first blue cheese made on the west coast to be smoked. A long, gentle cold-smoking over shells from Oregon hazelnuts infuses the cheese with an added layer of rich flavor and terroir, without overpowering the sweet, nutty, flavors of the rich, raw milk. The smoking mellows the sharpness typically associated with blues creating a crème brulée-like flavor with a hint of the toasted, richness of a campfire. Yet it’s so creamy, it’s almost spreadable. If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, this just might be the one that changes your mind. Try it blindfolded and you might not even know it’s a blue cheese.
Bayley Hazen Blue
is the signature blue cheese of Jasper Hill Cellars in Greensboro, VT. It has developed a loyal following because of its fudge-like texture, toasted- nut sweetness, and anise spice character. It’s creamy, with bluing well-distributed from edge to center; even though Roquefort penicillium is used, the usual peppery spice character is subdued, giving way instead to the grassy, nutty flavors in the milk. The rustic natural rind, developed by continual turning in a specially-calibrated vault in their cellars, creates a drier paste than most blues, but the texture is dense. The cheese is made from “morning milk” which is lower in fat than afternoon fat, from Ayrshire heifers, whose milk is particularly well-suited for cheese making because of the way the small fat globules break down in the aging process.Unique balanced flavors range from buttered toast, sweet grass, licorice, chocolate, and hazelnuts.
Looking somewhat like a creamy cake, Humboldt Fog
by Cypress Gove Chevre in Arcata, CA, is an iconic American original, elegant and luscious. With a central layer and outer covering of edible vegetable ash, this goat’s milk tome ripens from the outside to the center, resulting in a fresh goat cheese center surrounded by a pungent runny she
ll. The runny shell will widen as the cheese matures and is often considered the best part of the cheese. When cut, it is reminiscent of the early morning fog which rolls in from the bay to the towering redwoods. You’ll enjoy flavors of buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, slightly lemon and herbal overtones, and a clean finish. As the cheese ages, the layer just under the rind will develop a more intense flavor.
is another scrumptious cheese by Jasper Hill Cellars in Greensboro, VT. It is wrapped in bark which comes from local Spruce trees. The bark goes through a process of peeling, drying, cutting, and boiling before it can be used. Though its purpose is to hold the delicate cheese together, it also imparts a slight flavor to the bloomy-rind cheese. The slight woodsy aroma is followed by sweet, herbal, and bright flavors, ending with a mushroom finish. Scooping it out of the rind like honey is the ultra luxurious way to eat it..
Madras OR is the home of Ancient Heritage Dairy, which makes Hannah,
a semi-hard cheese from a blend of sheep and cows milk. Hannah has familiar qualities to Manchego and Cheddar. It has a natural rind and is earthy, flavorful, and smooth.
Any of these cheeses make a beautiful finish to a fine meal. Try a glass of Sauterne, Port, Sherry or even a Moscato D'Asti with them and be prepared to swoon.