The Northwest is known for its bountiful agriculture, but the artisan cheese world is taking note of our flourishing local fromage culture. Whether it’s a farmstead chevre out of a rural sheep farm or an finely aged cheddar crafted by artisan cheesemongers, you can find all kinds of local gems just waiting to be paired with a Columbia Valley wine or Bellingham microbrew. Rebecca, our Fairhaven Cheese Specialist, takes us through a few of her favorite local cheeses that have been quite a hit at her summer barbecues.
Appel Farms Jalapeño Gouda
“This is one of my favorites from Appel Farms which is just up in Ferndale. It’s very buttery and creamy but great with a little spicy bite from the jalapeños.” As a farmstead creamery, the Appel family raises the cows and manages the cheese making in a traditional Dutch style.
“This one’s got dark sugar crystals and a Jamaican Jerk spice swirled into Beecher’s always phenomenal cheddar. It makes a killer grilled cheese with the kick or mix in with other cheeses for an awesome mac and cheese. Or if you’re like me you can just bite straight off the block.”
“If you’re ready for some serious garlic, you’ve got to try Vampire Slayer. When I cut this for samples, I might as well be cutting raw garlic. While it’s deliciously smooth and creamy, my one tip is make sure whoever your kissing is eating this too because it’s a potent one!” This cheese took 1st place from the American Cheese Society in Madison, Wisconsin… and they know cheese!