Today at the market I discovered cheese: fromage blanc, 9 year old cheddar, chevre with honey, queso fresco, gouda, labneh, pheta, crème fraiche, mascarpone and many more. The market has three excellent cheese vendors all offering an amazing assortment of cheese.
My first stop was Jacobs Creamery. I started out sampling an aged Gouda. It was creamy, flavorful—and sold out!!! I knew I should have gotten to the market sooner today. I’ll have to pick-up some of this cheese next week. Another excellent aged cheese I tried was the cheddar. This cheese was very smooth, flavorful and sharp. As I talked to the vendor, I told her I wanted to try something really different. She suggested the herbed fromage blanc. It was the consistency of cream cheese, but packed with flavor. Tonight I spread it on some fresh bread from Snohomish Bakery and produced a truly unique and delicious garlic bread.
Some friends had told me that Little Brown Farms produces excellent goat cheeses. I was excited to try the pheta (yes, it is spelled correctly), but once again I was too late and they had sold out of this cheese! Nonetheless, I sampled a nice selection of cheeses and learn about each product from owner and cheese maker, Vicky Brown. For a quick dinner, Vicky suggested combining the herbed chevre caprine cream with fresh pasta. It’s on the menu for this week! For a more upscale presentation, Vicky suggested serving the chevre with honey and freshly ground black pepper like they do at the Walrus and the Carpenter restaurant. Next week, Little Brown Farms will be introducing a new product, “Cajeta”, a Mexican-style caramel sauce. When I asked Vicky how to eat this sauce, she replied, “with a spoon”! Can’t wait!
Sampling cheese from Samish Bay Creamery
Samish Bay Cheese produces a variety of yogurts and fresh and aged cheeses. I had no idea that aged cheese could mean aged seven to nine years. For instance, the montasio on sale today was aged for nine years. The vendor suggested pairing this special occasion cheese with a great bottle of wine and eating it unadorned. She said, “this cheese deserves to be eaten and enjoyed by itself”.
A very different product made by Samish Bay Creamery that caught my eye was Labneh. A few years ago in Israel I was introduced to this cheese yogurt. It is often a component of an Israeli breakfast. Labneh is the consistency of cream cheese, but has the sharp bite of yogurt. I like it spread on bread with a little honey.
Next week I’ll be at the market before 11:00 am and checkout the pheta, gouda, cajeta and montasio!