About a month ago, my mom was called for jury duty. She wasn’t too thrilled about it, but she took advantage of her lunch break to walk around downtown Seattle. After her first day, she emailed me to say she had passed by Beecher’s Handmade Cheese during her noontime stroll, and if I wanted, she would stop the next day to buy me cheese. Of course, I wasn’t going to say no to an offer like that! Remembering my delicious experience with Mt. Townsend Creamery’s Seastack last summer, I asked her to look for any other Mt. Townsend Creamery cheese, and when she visited a couple of weeks later, she delivered my wheel of Cirrus, Mt. Townsend’s “Pacific Northwest Camembert.”
Y’all know that when it comes to Camembert-style cheeses, I have a particular affection for Minnesota-made Bent River, so to see how Cirrus stacked up, I bought a quarter-wheel at the Minneapolis Farmers Market the same weekend, confounding my mother as to why I’d buy more cheese when she just brought me some. (I love cheese, Mom – there never has to be a reason why.) While Cirrus exhibited a similar velvety creaminess underneath its bloomy white rind, I’d have to give the nod to Bent River on butteriness. Don’t get me wrong – Cirrus has that fatty mouthfeel Camembert lovers seek, but it didn’t have quite the same depth or sinfulness that makes Bent River so craveable. Some cheeses are so decadent, so soothing that you feel like you’ve just entered a warm bath. Cirrus didn’t give me that Calgon-esque sensation, but it was still tasty and I would never turn down a wedge. Pair Cirrus with bubbles, of course, and sticky, gooey fruit like figs or dates.
I look forward to experiencing the full line of Mt. Townsend cheeses when I take a Pacific Northwest holiday with my husband this fall. It actually will be our 10th anniversary vacation, but I will sneak in some cheese-scouting time among our winery visits. Send me your recommendations!