Sunday, February 19, 2012

#2: Flagship (Beechers Handmade Cheese, Seattle)

 The Beechers shop/factory is in a great location opposite the Pike Place Market in Seattle.  Glass on three sides of the small cheese making room allow both shop customers and those on the sidewalk to see what is going on in the vats.  At one end of the shop visitors can also view into a small controlled environment ripening chamber where a small number of cloth bound wheels are ripening.  These are the “Flagship Reserve” cheeses, and there are not many of them – most of the cheese appears to be made into 40lb blocks.

Flagship appears to be true to its namesake – the flagship of the Beechers factory – but they also sell a variety of other styles sourced from their own factory as well as others in California, USA and Europe.  Flagship is essentially a Cheddar style, but has slightly fruity and nutty notes, and is less sharp than we were expecting from a 12 month old Cheddar.  We learnt afterwards that they use thermophilic cultures for this cheese – or as they put it “we use cultures from Emmental and Gruyere”.

 A really good use for this cheese is in macaroni cheese – as they expertly demonstrate in the “famous mac’n’cheese” available from the cheese bar.  In this they use Flagship as well as another of their own cheeses, and I’m pretty sure some cayenne pepper.  It really is quite delicious – not the sort of package made, “American Cheddar” type of mac’n’cheese I was expecting in the US.   
Beechers location and view across Puget Sound

Flagship Reserve maturing

Mac'n'cheese with the raw ingredient being made in the background

No comments:

Post a Comment