The Cowgirl Creamery at Point Reyes is Located in this Building
I went online to check out the Cowgirl Creamery website and saw that they offered a Cheese 101 Class in Pt. Reyes Station. We could learn about cheese, the Cowgirl Creamery, see a cheese making demonstration and sample cheeses for the low, low price of $5.00. Of course we had to go!
Agricultural Land Trust.
We also learned that the Cowgirl Creamery believes "Sustainability is part and parcel of this business." Because of this the air, soil and animals that are part of their cheese making process are all sustained in the best possible ways.
- Fromage Blanc: Most closely resembled cream cheese and can be used as a cream cheese replacement. It was slightly salty and nice and creamy.
- Cottage Cheese: Would you believe this was the first time I've ever tasted Cottage Cheese? I loved it! This Clabbard style cottage cheese was tangy (acidic) and salty in flavor and the large curds were rich in texture.
- Crème fraiche: You'll often see crème fraiche in recipes used as a more upscale version of sour cream. The sample we tasted that day was lemony, tangy and very creamy.
- Inverness: This is a young, aged fromage blanc cheese with an edible, soft white mold on the rind. I have to say while I loved the creamy smoothness of the texture, I personally didn't care for this cheese because it had a distinct floral note in its flavor. But if you love floral notes in your food you'll probably really enjoy this cheese!
- Red Hawk: We were told this that Red Hawk is a strong "stinky" cheese in the way Limburger Cheese is strong. I knew this was one of the Creamery's award winning cheeses so I was prepared to love it. Sadly, the flavor was just too much for me. It was the only sample I didn't finish that day. But perhaps I just have a wimpy cheese palate. LOL
- Wagon Wheel: I was super excited to try the Wagon Wheel as I'd recently read about it in an online news story. Described as a "young Asiago" with great meltability (perfect for pizzas and baked pastas) I knew I'd love this cheese, and I did.
- ST PAT: A seasonal holiday cheese, ST PAT is a springtime cheese that is more yellow than some of the other cheeses because it's made with milk from Jersey cows instead the more frequently used Holstein cows. The dark object on one end is a stinging nettle leaf that you can eat because the stingers have been removed. It's a lightly flavored cheese with a smooth texture and the nettles add a smoky, earthy flavor.
- And my favorite...
MT TAM (named after Mount Tamalpais) is their award winning, triple cream cheese that I can only describe as tasting like a young, rich, mellow Brie. They can't call it "Brie" because like "champagne" France owns the name. But to say it resembles Brie in flavor and texture is the best way I can describe it to you. It's so creamy and silky smooth. The flavor is buttery and has the same earthy kind of flavor Brie has. A huge plus: The texture and flavor of the white mold bloom and the edible rind itself are much more mellow and soft than French Brie. I LOVED this cheese so much I bought the small round you see above.
rennet separates the curds (solids) from the whey (liquids). Move over Little Miss Muffet! You're not the only one who knows what curds and whey are now!
take her class offered on Friday mornings and afternoons. Make sure you register ahead online because the class sizes are limited. She is a wealth of information and you'll get to sample a wide variety of cheeses!
There is cheese everywhere....
And when I say everywhere...
I mean EVERYWHERE!
There are imported cheeses from Europe lke this Pecorino from Italy...
To this Wasabi Goat Cheese by Westfield Farm in Massachusetts...
After wrapping up our cheese class Carl and I wandered around the neighborhood a bit then, taking the advice of the woman who was working the counter at Shorty's, we headed out to try a flatbread she had raved to us about in San Rafael. Since it was on our way back to SF we popped off the freeway to check out Vin Antico an Urban Trattoria.
I also loved that, according to their menu, Vin Antico includes many organic, sustainably and humanely raised ingredients in their food like the cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, humanely farmed eggs from Glaum Egg Ranch, Prather Ranch Beef, Sonoma Poultry and produce from Little Farms and Epic Roots.
The Cowgirl Creamery "Sidekick" is located in San Francisco's Ferry Building on the Embarcadero waterfront just north of the Bay Bridge and right next to their retails space. The CC Sidekick offers cheese based, to-go food and desserts.
Here is a tutorial about Raclette in brief: Raclette is the name used for both the cheese itself and the style of how the dish is prepared. Part of a round of Raclette (a Swiss) cheese is placed in a holder beneath a heating element that melts only the top side.
Yummmmmmmmmm.... I could hardly wait to try it!
Our ooey, gooey, cheesy Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
The strong cheese like Red Hawk and blue cheeses are in the upper photo and the soft cheeses like Goat Cheese, Cottage Cheese and the Crème Fraiche in the lower case.
Mini Raclette cheese melters! Who knew? They sell a mini one at Cowgirl Creamery but you can find large ones for dinner parties if you Google "Raclete." The top of the raclette machine, above the heating element, is a grill where you can cook meat and veggies. Below the heating element you place your cheese in a small metal pan to melt it.
So for $59.95 you can purchase your own mini raclette. Then you just need to source your Raclette cheese. Most likely if you want authentic Raclette cheese you'll need to have it shipped.
You can also order individual cheeses over the phone. Just dial (866) 433-7834 to find out what's in stock and what shipping charges would be. They do ship nationwide but not internationally.
Or join their cheese club or order an assorted collection of cheese by mail.
So what began as a simple trip to the Ferry Building Marketplace turned out to be our longest food adventure so far! Pt. Reyes Station is an hour and 45 minutes each way from San Jose so just driving there and back took longer than our entire day of touring Santa Cruz last month. It was well worth the effort though and now I have a new favorite restaurant to go back to in San Rafael as well!
My thanks to Cheryl for the wonderful class and I hope you all someday have the chance to have a bite of Cowgirl Creamery cheese somehow, somewhere.
The funniest thing is I didn't even like cheese until a few years ago. Now I'm crazy for it!
Here's an informative video all about cheese making featuring the Cowgirl Creamery:
If you enjoyed this post you'll probably like these too:
• Beyond the Beach: A Santa Cruz Food Adventure
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• Great Italian Food at A16 Restaurant in San Francisco
Or CLICK HERE to read my Foodie Friend Carl Mindling's blog post about this same excursion.