Post image for Cowgirl Creamery—Stinky, in a good way

Cowgirl Creamery—Stinky, in a good way

in From the Mobile App, Local and Slow Food

Just follow your nose to this world-class cheese shop in the Ferry Building Marketplace. Head Cowgirls Peggy Smith and Sue Conley were both chefs before founding Cowgirl Creamery in 1994. Since then, their artisanal cheeses have become a favorite of Bay Area locals. The award-winning Red Hawk, an aromatic aged triple-cream, is a CC specialty.

For something a bit less intense, try the Mt. Tam triple-cream or the yummy aged S.F Drake, which is washed in Muscat wine and topped with chopped currants. All of Cowgirl Creamery’s certified organic cheeses are made with locally sourced organic cow’s milk, organic cream, and a vegetarian microbial rennet.

The full-service European-style shop also sells both domestic and imported hand-picked farmstead cheeses, olives, local jams and honeys, crackers, pastes, and cured meats, as well as knives, books, and cheeseboards. CC’s friendly and knowledgeable staff is happy to make suggestions, and will let you try before you buy.

Tip: Lines can be long, so take a number as soon as you arrive; then enjoy a free sample while you wait.

Tip: After you’ve chosen your heart-stopping favorite at Cowgirl Creamery, stop next door at Acme Bread for a crusty loaf of sourdough, pick up some fruit and wine at a nearby shop, and you’re ready for the perfect waterfront picnic.

Did you know: The rind of CC’s award-winning Red Hawk triple cream gets its color and pungency from wild bacteria living in the salty sea air at Pt. Reyes in Marin County.

SF Waterfront Editors Recommend…

The Guide to West Coast CheeseThe Guide to West Coast Cheese: More than 300 Cheeses Handcrafted in California, Oregon, and Washington by Sasha Davies. The Oregon Wine Press calls it an “indispensable resource, clearly and concisely written with expert authority.”

A robust sheep’s milk cheese studded with whole peppercorns. A sharp, clothbound Cheddar that pairs perfectly with a nutty brown ale and a dollop of mango chutney. A tangy, nettle-wrapped cheese made in celebration of the cows returning to pasture in early spring. A light and cakey goat cheese with notes of pine nuts and Meyer lemons. These are just a few of the hundreds of delicious cheeses with origins up and down the West Coast that Sasha Davies chronicles in her detailed exploration of this exciting cheese region.

From just-emerging, small-scale cheeses to those that have earned international recognition, the spotlight is on the vibrant hues, bold aromas, and surprising yet palate-pleasing flavors that make these cheeses so unique. Rich with information, this accessible guide examines the key factors that influence the distinctive character of every cheese, and includes beverage pairing ideas, serving suggestions, and fascinating features on cheesemaking and individual producers.

Whether at the market, your local cheese shop, or while traveling, this is the ultimate reference for selecting, identifying, and savoring the cheeses of California, Oregon, and Washington. About $13. Buy The Guide to West Coast Cheese: More than 300 Cheeses Handcrafted in California, Oregon, and Washington.

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