Three of a Kind: A cheeseplate trio of Pacific Northwest Flavors
1. Up in Smoke
Logsden, Oregon / Pasteurized goat’s milk
Rivers Edge Chevre
Easily some of the best goat’s cheese in the country. Beautiful on the plate, Up in Smoke is wrapped in local maple leaves spritzed with bourbon. Each ball of chèvre is then lightly smoked over alderwood and hickory. The flavors are initially milky and lactic, followed by bright notes of citrus and pepper; the smokiness is perfectly subtle.
2. Flagship Reserve
Seattle, Washington / Pasteurized cow’s milk
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
The deep golden color of our Flagship Reserve hints that this cheese is a richer, more intense version of our signature Flagship. To make it we start with the Flagship curds, then hoop them in cheesecloth to form the cheese, rub the truckle with butter, and let time do the rest. As the moisture evaporates , the flavors concentrate, leaving a nutty, sharp cheese that smacks of butterscotch and fruit.
3. Off Kilter
Port Townsend, Washington / Pasteurized cow's milk
Mt. Townsend Creamery
I have always been a fan of the creativity found in the Pacific Northwest craft beer community, so I was excited when I heard that our friends across Puget Sound at Mt. Townsend Creamery were washing a cheese in Pike Brewing Company’s Kilt Lifter scotch ale—a malty, smoky brew. In the aging room at Mt. Townsend, the cheese rests for about 20 days, during which time it is regularly swabbed with a solution of the ale. The rind has a blush of pink, while the interior delivers an earthy, barnyardy, and delicately tangy flavor with sweet notes.
On the side . . .
Cabernet Cracked Pepper Jam
Three Little Figs
Located in Willamette Valley, a lush wine region in the Northwest, Three Little Figs does a terrific job of tapping into local food suppliers to craft unique flavors in its jellies and spreads. Their Cabernet Cracked Pepper jelly is a real treat with cheese.
Beecher’s Original Crackers
True story: The recipe for our crackers was inspired by one of our employees, who would bake her grandmother’s cracker recipe in our office. I fell in love with their cornmeal crunch and buttery flavor; once we paired them with our cheeses, we knew we had a perfect match.