Monday 2 July 2012: The Cheese Stands Alone
Waking this morning feeling as though a cold was coming on, I've taken it very easy today, and needed to find a blip subject at home. All I had to do was open our refrigerator!
I think there are few things lovelier than the Ladysmith organic fresh cheese made by Samish Bay Cheese, an artisan farmstead about ten miles from us. And it's not just me who thinks that way -- Ladysmith took first place in the unripened cow's milk cheeses category at the 2010 American Cheese Society awards competition.
This is a "baby wheel" of Ladysmith -- a generous 1 pound 3 ounces (546 grams) in my one pound cheese. I buy it as a treat for us now and then at the Bellingham Farmers Market, where Samish Bay Cheese bring their wonderful organic cheeses, yogurts, and grass-fed pork (the pigs enjoy the whey from the cheese-making), and beef (the male calves of their mixed herd of Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Jersey-Shorthorn crosses, Holstein, and Dutch Belted cows).
When young like ours, Ladysmith has a mild, sweet flavor -- Phil says it reminds him of Caerphilly cheese. As it ages, the flavor becomes more complex and the texture drier. According to the Samish Bay Cheese website, "after a few weeks will be well-suited for grating" -- but it never lasts us long enough to try that!
There are variations on Ladysmith -- chive, arugula, aged, and Black Mambazo (coated with cocoa and chipotle) -- as well as several other kinds of cheese available from Samish Bay Cheese. If you want to make yourself hungry, click on the website link in the preceding paragraph!