From Cowgirl Creamery to Whole Foods – Marcella, the Cheesemonger ACS CCP
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From Cowgirl Creamery to Whole Foods

tomales bayThe Man and I have arrived in the Sacramento area for the 2014 American Cheese Society’s Annual Conference and Competition. We flew in early to visit family and today, my sister-in-law, Susie, and I checked in with a few of the local cheesemakers and cheese shops… always a fun day for Cheese Nerds. We will enjoy a cheese board later tonight and my reviews will follow tomorrow.

cowgirl caseWe began the day heading down Hwy 1 along Tomales Bay to Point Reyes Station and Cowgirl Creamery. I introduced myself to the shop’s manager, Michael Zilber, who graciously took a few minutes from his busy day to give me a little history of the creamery. The founders, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith started in the very barn where we were in 1994 and stayed there 17 years before moving the major part of their production to larger facilities at Petaluma. They still make Red Hawk in Point Reyes and there were racks of the gorgeous, young disks aging their 17 days before heading into homes of Cheese Lovers lucky enough to take one home. We bought Inverness, a fresh, surface-ripened cheese made in the style of St. Marcellin. You can only get Inverness on Saturday’s at the Point Reyes Station.

Because The Man and Jud, Susie’s husband, were left to their own vices, which made both of us a bit nervous… just sayin’… we headed back toward Petaluma but not without stops along the way… we were pretty sure they wouldn’t burn the house down in our absence… turns out, we were correct…

Marin French 2Our next stop was The Cheese Factory, home of Marin French soft-ripened cheeses. We sampled their triple creme and Camembert. The place was busy with other cheese nerds and I’m pretty sure I spotted three ladies I saw at the ACS last year in Madison…

From Marin French we stopped in at Petaluma Market which has a respectable cheese area right at the entrance. The monger waas busy cutting and wrapping and we didn’t get a chance to chat.

Our last stop was the Whole Foods in Petaluma. I stopped there specifically to pick-up their exclusive Prince George Birthday cheese… unfortunately they were sold out, but we picked up the rest of the fixings we wanted for our cheese plate: Picolo by Adande Dairy, a cow’s milk surface-ripened cheese; two natural rind raw cow’s milk cheeses: St. George Matos and Northern Gold; organic Jersey Milk curds and Bay Blue.cheese plate petaluma

We combined the cheese plate with local apricot jam and a local Pepper jelly, some salami, crackers and almonds with Vigin Olive Oil, Hickory smoked sea salt and Herbs de Provance.

All-in-all, a perfect start to #CheeseSociety14…

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