Marci Ebeling and John Shuman settled in Trout Lake, Washington, in 2005 after hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. They soon set about reviving the community's dormant cheesemaking tradition, and Cascadia Creamery was born. Cascadia uses certified organic cow's milk from a fourth-generation dairy that breeds Jersey, Dutch Belted and Friesian cows to make an array of cheeses that are aged in a special aging room built inside a lava tube cave. The natural cave air has an ideal temperature and humidity content for ripening cheese.
Inspired by the Welsh cheese Caerphilly, Cloud Cap has a mottled, lightly bloomy rind with aromas of earth and forest floor. The paste is soft, yet crumbly, offering flavors of citrus in its dense center and mushroom closer to the rind.
Cascadia Creamery in Washington describes this raw cow's milk cheese as their "Gateway Blue," a cheese that is sure to win over those who thought they didn't like blues. Made with raw cow's milk cheese, Glacier Blue's texture is dense, and its flavors range from tangy buttermilk to roasted nuts, cocoa nibs and beef.
Sleeping Beauty wears a thin, mottled natural rind that offers a hint of damp earth from the caves. Underneath lies a supple, semi-firm paste that is rich and buttery with flavors of grass and herbs and a tangy finish.
Matos Cheese Factory
Joe and Mary Matos grew up on the lush volcanic island of Sao Jorge in the Portuguese Azores. It happens to be an island that is noted for its delicious cheeses, and when Joe and Mary relocated to Santa Rosa in the 1970s, they carried the recipe for their homeland's native cheese with them.
Putting their personal American spin on the original recipe, St. Jorge -- named for the island -- is a full-flavored cow milk cheese with a cheddary depth and a rich, firm texture. It was one of the first cheeses to be featured in the Tomales Bay Foods collection when the company was launched in Point Reyes Station in the late 1990s.
Kenne from Tomales Farmstead Creamery
Bandaged Bismark from Crown Finish Caves
Applachian from Meadow Creek Dairy
Salami from Elevation Charcuterie