Search This Blog

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cowgirl Creamery Artisan Cheese

1 Ferry Building
Marketplace Shop #17

San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 362-9350

Finding your ideal cheese shop can be a journey for the ages. I can remember 10 years ago wondering into the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. Inexperienced and intimidated, I didn't know how to order, I was clueless as to the cheeses I even liked. After a brief exchange, in doubt, I answer "stinky". I want some stinky cheeses. At least they will be memorable. I took them to work as snacks for the week. They were memorable, especially for my co-workers every time I open a container. Now, the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills caters to the high end, but I want a selection of some great, modest cheeses. Enter Say Cheese, prices are lower, but I'm treated with a Parisian arrogance every time I request a smaller cut. No thank you. The Cheese Store of Silverlake has become my happy medium between quality cheeses and accommodating service.

Up in San Francisco, you don't have to search hard. Head straight through the Ferry Plaza doors to Cowgirl Creamery. There's a great selection of domestic and foreign cheeses laid out for the frenzy of tourists and locals alike. The recommendations were gratifying and the portions were cut as I asked, no minimum.

(The staff eager to please)

(The staff eager to please)

(Just some of the cheese selection)

(more of the cheese selection)

The fresh cheese selection is not to be missed either. We tried a sample of all of them and selected a few of our favorites. Those moving on the second round, to the purchase counter, included a cottage cheese, mascarpone, and a chile goat cheese spread.


  • Country - USA
  • Milk - Pasteurized sheep
  • Rind -Poly edible
  • Texture - Firm
  • Aging - 6 months

In the lush and green land fondly known as the Dairy State, the Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Cooperative (WSDC) was born. The Midwestern sheep dairy industry dates back to the 1980s, and the WSDC is currently comprised of twelve farms. Each of these twelve farms boasts fluffy flocks between one hundred and four hundred ewes.

While the mission of the WSDC is "to enhance the quality of life for co-op member families by sustainably producing and marketing premium sheep dairy products," the co-op hopes that by conducting their business with "respect, integrity, and sincere consideration for [their] members and their families, [their] customers and suppliers, [their] communities, [their] animals, and [their] land" they will "establish industry standards for promoting highly-valued sheep dairy products."

Rich and nutty with a slightly dry but fabulously firm texture, Dante is delicious grated over steamy pasta or cold salads.

2nd Place Ribbon, American Cheese Society Competition in Burlington, Vermont, 2007.

Wilder Weide

  • Country - Holland
  • Milk - Organic Raw Cow
  • Rind -Wax
  • Texture - Firm
  • Aging - 15 months
One of the only small production farmstead cheeses made in The Netherlands, this organic raw cow milk cheese is made right on the farm in Southern Holland with milk from a mixed herd. The cheese is then wrapped in wax and aged for fifteen months.


  • Country - Spain
  • Milk - Goat and Cow
  • Rind -Wrapped in Sycamore leaves
  • Texture - Semi-soft
  • Aging - 90 days
Wrapped snuggly in Sycamore leaves, this distinctive blue cheese from the Spanish Castille-Leon province combines the sweet richness of cow's milk with the tanginess of goat milk. Slightly more delicate than Cabrales, Valdeon is a slightly salty, complicated cheese with fragile veins darting through its pungent paste.

Torta La Serena 

  • Country - Spain
  • Milk - Raw Sheep
  • Rind - Natural
  • Texture - Soft
  • Aging - 60 days
Raw sheep milk cheese from Extremadura, Spain reaches its apex after a bout of bad weather. The burnished ochre semi-hard rind of this cheese is cinched with a belt to mold it, but when the Extremadura winters or springs are cold and rainy, the belted cheeses become deformed. Cracks break through and riddle the crusted rind, and the interior gets soft and supple.

When the cheese reaches this stage, it garners the name "torta" and the softer it gets, the more highly sought it becomes. At this point, the cheese should be eaten quickly, which, given the sumptuousness of La Serena, shouldn't be a problem.

Torta La Serena is coagulated with thistle flower, which lends an elusive vegetal element to the intense, complex cheese. When at its most liquid state, the top of Torta La Serena can be sliced off and the cheese scooped out and enjoyed.

No comments:

Post a Comment