Though Western Week on C+C started in Oregon, I actually visited a couple of Seattle cheese shops before I headed down to Washington’s neighbor on my recent Pacific Northwest vacation. My parents have lived in Seattle for the past 11 years and I’ve paid many a visit to Pike Place Market, where Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is located, but I hadn’t made it to any other local shops – until now. This trip, both The Calf & Kid and the new Mt. Townsend Creamery Tasting Room in Pike Place Market were on my agenda, and I came away with many pictures and cheeses, of course, to enjoy long after I flew back home.
First up was The Calf & Kid, Sheri LaVigne’s small but cheese-packed shop in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Nestled among other gourmet food shops and wine bars, The Calf & Kid opened two years ago and keeps its customers satisfied with an well-chosen selection of international and domestic cheeses. This Midwestern girl was thrilled to find cheeses from Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho and other nearby states that are nowhere to be found in dear ol’ Minnesota. The hard part, of course, was picking just a few to bring with me. This was my first cheese stop of my trip, and my cooler only had limited room, you know. Instead, I made do with a lot of samples (thank you, patient cheesemonger) and loving looks at the cheese case. Come back tomorrow for the scoop on the lucky cheeses that made it home with me.
After a quick stop at Beecher’s to savor a delectable chocolate goat cheese truffle from Briar Rose Creamery, I navigated my way through Pike Place Market to find the new tasting room from Mt. Townsend Creamery. In fact, “tasting stall” would be a better description of the creamery’s market outpost, but the Port Townsend, Wash., cheesemakers manage to pack a lot of cheese into such a small space!
Already a fan of Mt. Townsend’s soft-ripened Seastack and Cirrus, I nibbled my way through several new-to-me Mt. Townsend varieties, concentrating on the firmer cheeses. My husband and I found a new family-friendly favorite in New Moon, a Jack-style cheese, and its smoked version, Camp Fire. The creamy cheeses helped distract our noses from the fishy smell – the famous fish stall is just across the hall – and kept our bellies full until dinnertime. Though Mt. Townsend cheeses also are available at Beecher’s just across the street, there’s something about buying the cheeses directly from the creamery, which itself is just a ferry ride away from Seattle, and the cheesemongers are more than happy to chat about the selections in the case.
Washington cheeses are on deck – check back tomorrow for the details about the tasty treasures we found!