Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Monterey Jack Cheese has to be one of my favorite varieties of cheese. I was so happy when I saw that Beecher's made its own "Just Jack." They make the highest quality cheeses, so I knew that Just Jack would be a real treat to try. I was not disappointed! I was amazed by the smooth, creamy texture and taste. Most of the cheese I ate all on its own, but I did save some for a fantastic quesadilla! The cheese would also taste great in a macaroni and cheese dish or with beer or wine. You really cannot go wrong with cheese from Beecher's!
Despite its name, this cheese is anything BUT just Jack! Rich and creamy, I fell in love with this cheese from the first time I tasted it! I first tried it solo, with some crackers, and loved the smooth taste and velvety texture. I then tried it in grilled-cheese form, and it was, hands, down, the best grilled cheese I've ever tasted. The flavor is rich but not overwhelming, and it melts beautifully. Like all of Beecher's cheeses, this cheese is all-natural and made with only the best ingredients. The milk used to make the cheese comes from local cow herds that are hormone free and fed with only the highest quality feed. Kudos to Beecher's on creating such a delicious, high-quality product. Going forward, Just Jack will definitely be found in my refrigerator on a regular basis!
Jack cheese is always a favorite of mine. It works great with all crackers and compliments the crunch to cheese factor. Beecher’s Just Jack is one of the best of its kind. Freshly made and perfectly packaged in wedge triangles makes it an easy cheese to display. Everyone will devour this Jack because of the creamy texture and rich flavor. Great to shred on top of anything spicy as well. Perfect with a good sauvignon blanc.
Beecher's Just Jack Cheese is so delicious! I honestly haven't had such a great cheese like this in a while. It's wonderful for entertaining and just to have at home. I love to have cheese as my main meal sometimes. I treated myself to that today and it was well worth it. It has a nice bite and dances on my tongue. Have it with wine or even on a sandwich. Give it a try you can't go wrong!
Beecher’s Pure Food Philosophy
Everything we offer at Beecher’s is just pure, all-natural, full-flavored food handcrafted in traditional ways with only the best of ingredients. That means our products do not contain any artificial preservatives, flavor enhancers or coloring agents. The premium milk used to produce our cheese products contains no added rBST and our crackers are made without hydrogenated oils.
This cheese is a classic Jack cheese with an especially creamy, rich flavor. This is a semi-hard, pasteurized cow’s milk cheese.
At the Beecher's Handmade Cheese shops in Seattle's historic Pike Place Market and New York's Flatiron District, visitors press their noses against the windows to witness a vat of creamy white milk transformed by the expert hands of the cheesemaker. Although he is aided in the process by simple machinery, the cheesemaker is crafting cheese using the same techniques that have been used for 5,000 years.
A cheese lover since childhood, Kurt Beecher Dammeier remembers encouraging his mother to buy artisan cheese at a time when processed cheese was overtaking the market; and he recalls his great-grandfather, whose first name was Beecher, purchasing Stilton by the wheel.
Home Base - Seattle's Pike Place Market
In 2002, having become firmly entrenched in the Seattle food scene, Kurt was walking through Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market and noticed that a long-time tennant had closed up shop. Inspired, he called the landlord, returned to his office and announced they were going into the cheesemaking business. With fond memories of his grandfather Beecher and his wheels of Stilton, it was a natural fit to name the business Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.
For Kurt, Beecher’s fulfilled an ambition of his beyond just making great cheese. He has long felt passionately about eating food free of harmful additives and preservatives, as well as believing that people should know more about the food they eat - where it comes from, what goes into it and how it is made. The Pike Place Market location - a Seattle mecca for fresh produce and handcrafted items - provided the opportunity to nearly encircle the cheesemaking kitchen with windows, allowing a live demonstration of all three of those tenets in an entertaining format.
The Vision Becomes A Reality
Soon after acquiring the space, Kurt sought the expertise of Brad Sinko and hired him as Beecher's cheesemaker. Brad had honed his craft at Bandon Creamery in Oregon, which his family owned. Not only did he have the expertise to make great cheese, he also shared Kurt's commitment to pure, all-natural, additive-free food. Purchasing used equipment piece-by-piece, and working closely with a welder, Brad designed and built a custom pasteurizing and cheesemaking facility to fit into the 1,000 square foot kitchen.
All that was left to do was find a local source of premium milk, because the quality of cheese is ultimately dependent upon the quality of milk. Specifically, Kurt was looking for milk from cows that were fed high quality feed and not given recombinant bovine growth hormones (rBST).
A chance meeting connected Kurt with a local farmer and his herd of healthy, well-treated cows in Duvall, Washington. The farmer was interested in making cheese and agreed to be the sole supplier of milk to Beecher's. Securing a local dairy meant Beecher's could ensure the quality and purity of the milk and - ultimately - the cheese.
Let Them Eat Cheese!
It was finally time to make cheese! On November 20, 2003, Beecher's Handmade Cheese opened its doors to the public and became the only artisan cheesemaker in the city of Seattle.
In October of 2005, Beecher's had grown to the point that they added to their milk production with additional dairies just outside of Seattle, Washington. Using the same criteria for working with these dairies as had been used to select the first, the cows are all healthy and are not given any additional growth hormones.
A chance visit to New York City in the winter of 2008, started Kurt down the path of bringing Beecher's to New York. He connected right away to the open market feel and recognized that the people shared his love of good food and for sense of place. In June 2011, after much research on how to start a cheesemaking kitchen in America's most populated city, Beecher's opened its doors to New York City's Flatiron District with a new store, cafe and restaurant.
As with the Seattle location, the cheese made in New York City is made from premiuim milk from local herds just south of Albany.
Yesterday, This Cheese Was Grass
Seven days a week, fresh milk is pumped into the holding tanks at our cheesemaking kitchens. Then the day-long process of cheesemaking begins. Depending upon the day, the cheesemakers may be making Beecher's signature 15-month aged Flagship, Flagsheep, Marco Polo, or any of the other cheeses that Beecher's makes. Under the skilled direction of the cheesemaker (and with a little help from the cows), the end result is a wholesome, natural, pure cheese - full of flavor and high in nutrition.
Flavor and purity go hand in hand at Beecher's. Customers watching the time-tested craft of cheesemaking can see firsthand that Beecher's cheeses are made with care and a commitment to purity. All products are free of bovine growth hormones, hydrogenated oils, nitrates and polysorbate. The Beecher's credo says it best:
"Food produced by Beecher's Handmade Cheese is free of all artificial preservatives, coloring and flavor enhancers. It's just pure, all-natural, full-flavored food, handcrafted in traditional ways with the freshest ingredients available."
The artisan cheeses we sell, and the meats, vegetables and other foods we use to make Beecher's café and restaurant items, are chosen with care and a desire to support broadly local, small-scale enterprises who share our philosophy and commitment to pure food.
Our Flagship Foundation
In keeping with our commitment to pure food, Beecher's and its sibling companies contribute 1% of all sales to the Flagship Foundation, founded by Beecher's in 2004. The Foundation, and its Pure Food Kids Workshop, is aimed at educating fourth through sixth grade students about the benefits of healthy eating and nutrition.