Northwest Dreaming: A Cascadia Creamery Trio

by dccheese on June 15, 2018

in American-West,Cheese!,Cow,Milk,Raw

As we may have mentioned here once or twice before, I grew up in Oregon. Sadly, I left home right around the time Portland became a foodie mecca (yes, pre-Portlandia even). Now that I know what I’m missing out on, I try to pack as many food stops into my visits home as possible. On one of this past year’s trips I stopped into a (cough, major grocery retailer) and bought every local cheese they had, although that was distressingly fewer than I had hoped. One creamery that was well-represented, however, was Washington’s Cascadia Creamery. I have procured their Glacier Blue for my blues-loving curd kids on previous occasions, but this time we also sampled Sleeping Beauty and Sawtooth. So no one accuses me of burying the lede, let me just say now that Sawtooth was definitely one of my favorite cheese discoveries of the year.

Cascadia Creamery is located in central Washington, on the east side of Mt. Adams in the Trout Lake valley. While Mt. St. Helens has been the attention-getter in recent history, the entire Cascade range is actually an 800-mile chain of volcanoes stretching from Mt. Baker in Washington to Lassen Peak in northern California. The cows of Cascadia fest on grass grown in that mineral-rich volcanic soil, but the volcanic advantages don’t end there: their cheeses are actually aged in a volcanic lava tube. The fourth-generation family dairy that provides the milk is both organic-certified and uses heritage Jersey, Dutch Belted, and Friesian cows with A2 genetics. (A cheese science geek explanation: A2 milk is becoming more sought after in the health food community as it contains a different amino acid in the beta-casein milk protein  that may be less allergenic than that found in A1 milk of conventional dairies. Read more about these studies in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.)

Back to the cheeses…

Sleeping Beauty | Cascadia Creamery |

Sleeping Beauty is a supple, buttery and smooth natural-rinded cheese that’s ideal for snacking. And personally, I see more than a few faces in the paste — it’s not just me, right?

Glacier Blue | Cascadia Creamery |

Glacier Blue is a creamy, smooth blue with the perfect saltiness and not-too-harsh a bite. It’s got a hint of tangy buttermilk flavor and would be great drizzled with some dark local honey.

Sawtooth | Cascadia Creamery |

Sawtooth is a fudgy washed-rind that still tastes a little buttery but with a meatier aroma. It’s an approachable washed-rind with the perfect squidgy texture and nutty flavors. Pair it with warm wild blackberries and it’s the grown-up equivalent of peanut butter and jelly.

I sadly haven’t seen Cascadia cheeses east of the Mississippi, but they are worth seeking out if you visit the west coast. According to their website, they can also be found at Eataly’s Chicago or New York locations.

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