The Art of America's Cheese-Makers

zepos may22 cheese post.jpg

Photo by Daphne Zepos

The Seattle Cheese Festival took place in the heart of Seattle this past weekend. White tents sprung up on the cobblestone street in front of Pike Place Market alongside a staggering display of tulips in season, and a wide variety of local and imported cheeses attracted crowds all weekend.

Seagulls swooped and squawked overhead the 100-year old West Coast market with its immense displays of fish and crabs, and street performers peppered the market with their tunes and tricks.

The yearly festival was organized by De Laurenti, the venerable food and wine store and included tastings, demos, and cheese classes. On the street, the crowds stood patiently in line to sample and buy cheese, ooh-ing and aah-ing over Piccante Gorgonzola, or sharp Tillamook, or floral Purple Haze along with hundreds of other cheeses.

Why do we ship little goat cheeses from the other end of the world when we have such treasures right here on our doorstep?

I elbowed my way to the stands of the local Washington cheese makers, and found some true gems. The Estrella Family creamery is blessed with an inspired and versatile cheese maker, mom Kelli Estrella. Every year at the festival I sample her ever-improving creations. This year her beer-washed Brewleggio was satin-textured and nicely potent. Her pyramid of aged goat cheeses was stunning: why, I wonder, do we ship little goat cheeses from the other end of the world when we have such treasures right here on our doorstep?

Willapa Hills' Little Boy Blue, short and stout like a teapot, is a natural-rinded blue that melts beautifully on the tongue and was creamy and mild. And Willapa White, a very fresh sheep cheese still beading with whey was sweet, reflecting the high quality of the sheep milk. Just the thing for a balmy and festive spring day.

You can find a selection of cheeses from both farms in local shops, including De Laurenti and The Cheese Cellar in Seattle, Metropolitan Markets in and around Seattle, as well as Steve's Cheese in Portland, OR.

Presented by

Daphne Zepos ranks among the most outspoken and dynamic cheese advocates in the United States. More

Daphne Zepos ranks among the most outspoken and dynamic cheese advocates in the United States. She is a former board member for the American Cheese Society, and was Chairperson of the ACS Annual Cheese Competition from 1999 to 2002.

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Health

Just In