Tag Archives: bellwether farms

One of my holiday cheese plates

I actually made two cheese plates for Thanksgiving this year. One for my parents’ house and one for our little gathering the day after. I only took pics of the one at our apartment so if you are a cheesemaker reading this, be sure your cheese was on the other plate!

This was the Hermann St. cheese plate:

Front row, l-r Beau’s Blend, Bleu des Basques, Benina Crema
Back row, l-r Pau (St. Mateu),* Rush Creek, Prairie Bloom (mislabeled as “cow”. Sorry, it was a long week)

And what the heck, let’s have another picture of the Bellwether Whole Milk Ricotta with pinot-soaked cherries!

If you wanna talk about underrated cheeses, the Benina Crema is definitely under-appreciated. Made somewhere in Merced County the cheese is now being aged longer than the version we carried a year ago and it is tremendous. It’s sweet and sharp like an aged Gouda but organic, hand-made, and from grass-based milk. The Burroughs Family eggs are awesome too, if you can find them!

The Beau’s Blend is another California cheese from down near Watsonville. The Garden Variety organic sheep milk is combined with the milk from the Schoch Dairy down the road. This may have been the most popular cheese on the plate (except for the ricotta/cherry combo).

Rush Creek actually was probably the most popular. It just disappeared so fast it was like it was never there. I’ve written about this cheese before.

Bleu des Basques is another under-appreciated cheese. Think more interesting Istara Ossau-Iraty with blue veins! Awesome.

I will admit that the Prairie Bloom was a free sample. Hey, cheese is expensive, even to me! Still this was a really nice little goat brie from Missouri. I know nothing about it except what we can both read here.

This is what the cheese plate looked like after about 2 hours.
the cheese plate is dead

People love cheese.

Please feel free to share any good Thanksgiving cheese stories in the comments. What did you serve?

*Anyone know why this cheese was once called Pau and now is called St. Mateu?

Hit of the Holiday

I served a lot of great cheeses for Thanksgiving, but this was the hit of the holiday. Bellwether Farms Whole Milk Ricotta topped with Friend in Cheeses Pinot Cherries:
ricotta and cherries

It was milky. It was sweet. It was boozy. It was awesome.

I was going to wait until our x-mas party to try this, but after Lenny from Bellwether came to the store and did a demo, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. Thanks again Lenny!

Cheese – a -Topia favorites (part 2)

After all the subcategories are decided, the judges walk around the room tasting everything that took a first place ribbon. We then vote for our top three choices and the weighted votes are then compiled to figure out the Best in Show and the two runners up. While I can’t imagine a non-cheese would ever win the Best in Show in the American Cheese Society Competition,* a few years ago when I judged the ACS Competition, I thought seriously about voting for a butter. One cultured product this year also made me think about putting it in my top 3.

Bellwether Crème Fraiche
creme fraiche

Now, I’ve eaten Bellwether Crème Fraiche many times, but usually with stuff, you know? Tasting it straight really kind of blew me away. It was that perfect blend of rich, tart, fruity, milky flavors. Amazing delicate texture. I have raved about their yogurt and ricottas before, but I will now add this to the list of my NorCal favorites.

Me and Liam eating at a way-too-expensive restaurant
me and liam

*Giving credit where it’s due, the awesome Kate Arding pointed me towards this anonymous bowl in the judging room. Right as always, Kate.