Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Cheese is something just about everyone can enjoy. Sometimes, I think I enjoy it a little bit more than everyone else! I am always looking for that perfect cheese to pair with a tasty cracker, some juicy grapes, or a nice glass of wine. Now I have found the cheese that tops all others! Beecher's Flagship Cheese literally blew me away with the first bite! This semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk has a slightly nutty flavor and crumbles when sliced thinly. It has hand made and aged for 15 months. This care and attention to quality is evidenced in the delightful flavor that will truly make your mouth water! I could barely stop myself from eating the entire block!
Having been a cheese lover for quite some time, I was very excited to be able to try Beecher's Flagship Cheese. I'd heard great things about it from several sources, and was delighted to have the opportunity to taste it for myself. And all I can say is, wow! This is honestly one of the best cheeses I've ever tasted. It's a semi-hard cow's milk cheese, and its sharp flavor was underscored by just a hint of nuttiness. I put some out at a small gathering of friends, and the plate of cheese was gone in about 20 minutes - everyone was raving about it! I tried paired with a syrah, and the wine and cheese complemented each other beautifully, although I can see it working equally well with a pale ale. As a bonus, not only does the cheese taste good, but it's made with fresh milk from local cow herds that are fed high-quality feed and are not given any hormones. Nothing artificial or nonessential is added during the cheesemaking process, so you can rest assured that when you're eating Beecher's cheese, you're eating a 100% natural product! Needless to say, since the cheese was such a hit, it will definitely be a staple in my kitchen going forward - whether there's a party or not!
I love love cheese! The best thing about being on the Atkins diet was you could eat cheese anything you wanted and as much as you wanted. Now that I have lost the weight I need to have my cheese in moderation. This makes me be far choosier on what cheese I will eat. Well one brand and kind that has gone to the top of the list is Beecher’s Flagship cheese. Just soft enough but not too soft. Creamy and flavorful. You can taste a nutty flavor that lingers a little giving it more bite. Wonderful with those wasabi crackers and of course my go to Carrs!
Beecher's Flagship Cheese is one of a kind. This original flavor is unique and delicious. I love it and could have eaten the entire thing on my own. I know hard to believe but it's true! That's how great this cheese is. I can proudly say this is a cheese that I would serve at parties and gift to others. It is a hand made cheese that leaves you wanting more. Try it out and you will be hooked!
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.
Fifteen months of aging nurtures the flavor and texture of Flagship to perfection. Flagship is sold only when it meets our rigorous standards - when a simple vat of milk becomes the pride of the Beecher’s fleet. Uniquely robust and nutty flavor, Flagship is a versatile cheese that befriends a wide variety of red and white wines. 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.