Over the last few months we’ve been making lots of decisions – about jobs, where to live and travel. In the end, we’ve decided to move back to Sydney. It seems to make sense for a lot of reasons but at the same time it’s really sad as we have to move away from friends all over again and leave London behind. The exciting part of this decision though is that we’re not going straight home. Instead we’re going to travel for a number of months, with a couple spent driving along the west coast of the USA.
It puts a slight hold on my cheese making but I’m hoping to make up for it by trying lots of new cheeses and learning about cheese-makers in California, Oregon and Washington. This is also where I’d love some help. I’m new to American artisan cheese and would love any suggestions of places I shouldn’t miss.
There is a book called “The Cheeses of California” by Jeanette Hurt that gives a good overview of cheeses and cheesemakers in California. It gives bios of all the different cheesemakers, including addresses, and if they give tours or accept visitors. It is definitely written with the cheese tourist in mind.
That being said, the San Francisco Bay Area is the best for cheese (I might be slightly biased). Be sure to get to Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes (they do tours and classes if you hit them on the right day) and Harley Farms in Pescadero. Vella Cheese Company in Sonoma doesn’t do tours, but has a small shop in a great old building and their cheeses is excellent (dry jack), plus Sonoma is gorgeous and good for all sorts of food and wine. There are a number of cheese-related things around here too, like the California Artisan Cheese Festival if you happen to be here in late March, and the San Francisco Cheese School, which gives a wide range of cheese appreciation classes.
I also think Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon would be a good stop.
Have a great trip!
Thanks so much.I really want to visit Cowgirl Creamery and the Sonoma area sounds good too. I think my biggest problem will be trying to fit it all in (which isn’t the worst issue to face in the world!).