8 West Coast Cheeses
A guide to eight of the best sandwiches made with cheese from the West coast. Originally featured in: 8 West Coast Cheese Sandwiches
(Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Seattle WA) Cow’s milk clothbound cheddar, truckle, aged 12 months, similar to clothbound British cheddar With multigrain Pullman bread + mixed greens + pickled raisins + butter The nutty, tangy notes of this cheese match well with spiced, slightly sweet pickled raisins and toothsome but yielding bread. Note: The author currently works for Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.
Point Reyes Original Blue
(Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, Pt. Reyes, CA) Raw cow’s milk, blue, wheel, 6 months, similar to Maytag blue With peasant levain + romaine lettuce + grilled steak or sliced roast beef Levain, with its subtle tang, complements this creamy, bright and fruity blue. Point Reyes Original Blue is a flamboyant cheese–a little goes a long way. It stands up well to rare steak or juicy roast beef.
Laura Chenel’s Chevre Tome
(Laura Chenel’s Chevre, Sonoma, CA) Goat’s milk, firm, square, aged 6 months, similar to Malvarosa With sourdough with walnuts + green olive tapenade + baby spinach + olive oil Tangy sourdough and savory green olives are a wonderful foil for the sweetness of this aged goat cheese. The firm, snowy wedge is easy to cut.
Vella Dry Jack
(Vella Cheese Company, Sonoma, CA) Cow’s milk, hard square, aged 7-8 months, similar to Piave Vecchio Baguette + spring pea puree with mint and garlic + frisee Vella Dry Jack’s earthy, nutty notes and the faint bitterness of frisee balance the sweetness of spring peas. The square’s dry, hard texture is best coaxed into slices with a cheese planer.
Bellwether Jersey Ricotta
(Bellwether Farms, Petaluma, CA) Cow’s milk, fresh, no aging, similar to Italian ricotta With biscuit + sweet or sweet hot peppers + basil Rich in texture and creamy in flavor, this extra-silky ricotta begs for fresh herbs and a bit of spice and acid. Dollop onto a biscuit for breakfast, add tangy sweet or hot peppers and serve for lunch.
Tin Willow Tomme
(Black Sheep Creamery, Adna, WA) Sheep’s milk, hard, wheel, aged 5-7 months, similar to aged Pecorino or Pyrenees Brebis With country bread + Romesco spread + grilled scallions or ramps + sliced Serrano ham There are so many flavors packed into this sandwich that a simple country bread is your best choice, especially if you drizzle it with olive oil and grill it lightly. The dense cheese is milder than Pecorino, with a firm paste that can be shaved with a vegetable peeler or grated.
(Valley Ford Cheese, Valley Ford, CA) Cow’s milk, semi-firm, wheel, 6 months, similar to Montasio With rye+ pastrami+ sauerkraut+ Russian dressing Estero Gold’s fermented, slightly sweet flavor pairs well with a dark and earthy rye and pickled sauerkraut in this Reuben variation.