Yep, we’ve got another cheese fest to point you towards this weekend: the Washington Artisan Cheesemakers Festival will be held Saturday, October 12, at the Seattle Design Center.
We get the chance to dabble in Pacific Northwest cheeses every once in a while, but for some hot new cheeses to seek out we turned to friend-of-the-blog Tami Parr, author of the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project and two books on the subject. (Stay tuned for a review of her latest book.)
Here’s what Parr recommends:
- Francesca’s Cheese from Kurtwood Farms would definitely be one – he’s known for Dinah’s cheese, which is a lovely bloomy rinded cheese. Francesca is aged approximately 1 year and it’s a harder, nuttier cheese on the sharp side.
- Also getting a lot of attention lately is Glendale Shepherd – they are a sheep dairy on Whidbey Island. Their Island Brebis is seriously amazing, rich and unctuous like the best sheep’s milk cheeses, kind of reminds me of Ossau Iraty. They age it for varying amounts of time, 3 months or so to a year. And more recently they have started marketing their sheep’s milk yogurt, which Lynn had been only making for the family. It’s killer!
- The last one I’d put in there is Glacier Blue from Cascadia Creamery. John Shuman is doing great things with cheese up in the Trout Lake area and Glacier Blue is a new one from him. I’m amazed at the depth and complexity of this blue cheese – carmel notes, blue sharpness, all of the great flavors of Stilton, but from Washington. Very cool!
Incidentally, Parr will lead a seminar on the history of Washington’s artisan cheesemakers at the festival. Get your tickets today and report back after the festival to let us know what new Evergreen State cheeses you discover!
Seattle too far to travel? Here are two other opportunities to eat good American cheese this weekend:
- The Atlanta Cheese Festival takes place Friday, October 11, at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park from 5PM-11PM. The festival will feature over 50 of the most recognized cheese & artisan food producers from all over the world. Get tickets here.
- It’s Open Creamery Day in Maine on Sunday, October 13, where you can visit Seal Cove Farm and a dozen other cheesemakers around the state. Get details here.