Skagit Food Co-op blog:

the Cheese Whisperer

New Local Cheeses for Summer

Looking to support local cheese makers? Take a bite: the Co-op sources cheese from across the Pacific Northwest, including Skagit Valley’s own Golden Glen Creamery and Samish Bay Cheese. Add depth and flavor to your meals with these new exciting arrivals o our Specialty Cheese Island:

facefromblFace Rock Creamery’s Fromage Blanc — similar to cream cheese, this fresh, spreadable soft Fromage Blanc
has a hint of sweetness and a burst of creamy flavor. Perfect paired with breakfast bagels or drizzled with honey over berries and pitted cherries. Made simply with fresh pasteurized cow’s milk and cream, this premium Fromage Blanc can be used as a tangy substitute for sour cream, cream cheese, or ricotta. It has a high moisture content and mild flavor that adds creamy texture to egg scrambles, pasta sauce, and dips. Fromage Blanc is also delicious when served with roasted potatoes or blended with sauteed mushrooms (read on for recipe). Face Rock Fromage Blanc is on sale now, $6.49 each per 8 oz container.

Ferndale Farmstead’s Fontina — a classic, semi-firm Italian-style cheese from the Wavrin family dairy in Whatcom County. Fontina cheese is a rich and creamy aged cheese with a smooth, almost silky texture. Ferndale’s whole milk version has a natural fernfontinacloserind as opposed to the washed-rind style produced in the valleys of northern Italy. It has a complex buttery and sweet flavor with butterscotch or brown sugar notes, and is less pungent than the washed rind versions of this cheese. This aged Fontina is firm enough to grate or slice, to melt on pizza, or enjoy simply on a cheese platter with pickled vegetables, glazed nuts and fresh fruit. On sale now, Ferndale Farmstead Fontina is $15.99 per lb.

Cheesy Wild Mushroom Spread

Use this versatile spread on sandwiches, meats, or as an elegant dip with raw vegetables, toast, and crackers.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pound wild mushrooms, sliced (like Shiitake and Chantrelle)
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter (or butter substitute)
  • 2 pounds cream cheese
  • 4 scallions, sliced (optional)

Directions: Melt the butter in a small stockpot and add the mushrooms, onion, wine, and cream. Simmer 30 minutes, or until reduced by half. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until fairly smooth. Add cream cheese and blend again. Add scallions (if using) before serving.

By: Claire

ClaireClaire Harlock Garber loves to eat and drink and write about it. She has worked in the food industry for nearly a decade and was on staff at the Skagit Valley Co-op from 2010-2018, writing the regular columns Skagit Brew Corner, The Cheese Whisperer, The Bounty of Bulk, and What's Dippin' in the Well for the Co-op's blog, as well as articles for the Natural Enquirer newsletter.