Pony Up to Mt Tam | culture: the word on cheese
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Pony Up to Mt Tam

Any cheese fan worth their salt knows Cowgirl Creamery. The famously female-run outfit has specialized in turning organic, pasture-raised dairy into award-winning cheese in Northern California since 1994. Founders Sue Conley and Peggy Smith were committed to sustainability from day one, and this attitude has driven the company’s mission ever since.

Cowgirl’s unique line of cheeses can’t be made anywhere else, as their profiles are so indelibly influenced by West Marin County’s climate and ecology. Moist salt air floats in off the nearby Pacific ocean and settles over the hardy shrubland surrounding Tomales Bay, which in turn provides a distinct piquancy to the milk of local dairy cows. Cowgirl Creamery sources all of its milk from dairy farms within Marin and Sonoma counties, ensuring the freshest products held to the highest production standards. But they don’t just keep the goods to themselves—Conley’s and Smith’s first joint venture was launching a wholesale food distribution company to help connect organic farmers of West Marin County to Bay Area restaurants. Tomales Bay Foods continues to ensure that small farms remain a crucial part of Greater San Francisco’s food infrastructure.

But what about the cheese? We’re glad you asked. Cowgirl’s star players, including Mt Tam, Red Hawk, and their distinctly dense crème fraîche, are a cut above the rest. Triple-cream cow’s milk Mt Tam stands out as the perfect party cheese (even if you’re just having a party for one). It’s at once supple and creamy, smooth and full-bodied, its fudgy core surrounded by a creamline that ripens with age. We recommend serving it (at room temperature, of course!) with candied ginger, which brings out Mt Tam’s sweeter notes and acts as a pleasingly spicy foil to the cheese’s sultry paste.

Sponsored by Cowgirl Creamery.

Cowgirl Creamery

Cowgirl Creamery founders Sue Conley and Peggy Smith began their journey in the mid-90’s with a mission to help get West Marin cheeses into the Bay Area’s best restaurants. Two decades later and two creameries later, Cowgirl Creamery continues to uphold its commitment to artisan cheese making.

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