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Cheese Lands 2016: Cheesemonger’s Pick

This August 5–7, prepare yourself for a cheesy musical odyssey the likes of which you’ll be jazzed to hear about—culture: the word on cheese is partnering with Napa Valley winery Long Meadow Ranch to bring you Cheese Lands, your one-stop shop for cheesy treats at this year’s Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park! If you’re attending, stop on by and eat some cheese! If not, make these plates at home and stream the whole thing from your couch!

If you’re attending this year’s Outside Lands Music Festival, your to-do list is probably packed with LCD Soundsystem, Sufjan Stevens, and Lana Del Rey. But when you get hungry, head to Cheese Lands and enjoy our Cheesemonger’s Pick plate, filled to the brim with great cheeses from across the country and around the world. Take a look!

Bermuda Triangle | Cypress Grove | Arcata, CA


Cheese numero uno is Cypress Grove’s Bermuda Triangle, an earthy, piquant goat’s milk cheese. Located in Humboldt County in Northern California, Cypress Grove Chevre began during the 1970s when the company’s founder, Mary Keehn, became interested in Alpine dairy goats while searching for a healthy source of milk for her young daughters. This resulted in the acquisition of two goats, and from this small start she quickly developed a passion for breeding high-quality Alpine goats. Within a few years, the size of Mary’s herd increased significantly and, finding herself with excess goat milk, she started experimenting with cheesemaking.

When young, the interior paste of this cheese is chalky-white in color and has a smooth, dense, and slightly crumbly texture. With age, as the paste starts to break down under the rind, becoming softer, slightly translucent, and ultimately runny, the bright and peppery flavors intensify and can become quite assertive.

Toma | Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. | Tomales, CA


Our next cheese comes to us from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, located just an hour north of San Francisco. The Giacomini family, owners of PRFC, are third-generation dairy farmers who began their journey in 1959 when Bob Giacomini began milking cows on his Point Reyes dairy. In August, 2000, they founded Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and produced the first vat of their now famous Original Blue.

For their Toma cheese, milk from their own closed herd of Holstein cows is pasteurized, and after the curd is formed and cut, a traditional gouda technique is used to wash the curds with water, thus slowing down the acidification process. The curds are then drained, placed into gouda-shaped cheese molds, and pressed before being unmolded and allowed to sit in a brine solution for two days. The result is a firm cheese with rich, buttery, and grassy flavors that ends with a slight tang.

Cabecou | Laura Chenel’s | Sonoma, CA


Coming to us from Laura Chenel’s up in Sonoma County, Calif., Cabecou is a goat cheese button that’s aged for 5-7 days, then placed in a marinade before a rind develops. The “aging” process continues in the jar, as buttons absorb the flavors of the savory herbs while they marinate in a mixture of organic canola oil and California extra virgin olive oil. Cabecou’s flavor is characterized by the herbs in the jar, along with the mild yet creamy and tart flavor of the goat’s milk. Salty and sharp, Cabecou brings to mind olives and garlic.

Mt. Tam | Cowgirl Creamery | Point Reyes Station, CA

Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam

An OG Northern California artisan cheese, the triple-cream Mt. Tam was the very first aged cheese from Cowgirl Creamery and remains the cheesemaker’s most popular to this day. These little 8-ounce wheels are made from organic pasteurized cow’s milk and are aged for three weeks—get ready for big, ric,h and buttery flavors up front, underscored with notes of mushrooms, grass, and hay and a texture that is smooth, dense, and irresistible.

Goats’ Milk Clothbound Cheese | Quicke’s | England


Crafted from locally sourced goat’s milk, this cheddar-style matures for six months to achieve its vibrant creaminess. Its flavor is buttery and smooth with an almond-y finish, and it gets along beautifully with pear ciders and stouts. Handcrafted and clothbound by cheesemakers in Devon, England, this cheese is a must-try.

This all-in-one board is accompanied by Orchard Choice Dried Mission & Golden Figs and Mission Fig Spread, Rustic Bakery Cranberry Pan Forte Crostini, and La Panzanella Original Mini Croccantini.

Click here and check out the full menu!

Caroline Fenn

While Caroline Fenn’s primary pursuit is an M.A. in publishing from Emerson College, she thinks almost as frequently about whether burrata or Brie would be her desert island cheese. She comes to Boston via Connecticut and Rhode Island and also loves writing, coffee shops, and Fountains of Wayne.