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Monday, March 1, 2010

Wagon Wheel: Cowgirl's Newest Cheese Has the Freshness of Really Good Milk

Posted By on Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge We can't help flashing on udders and such. - COWGIRL CREAMERY
  • Cowgirl Creamery
  • We can't help flashing on udders and such.
We were at the Ferry Building with our Mom the other weekend. Right as we walked through the front door, a large, grizzled man in a green jacket and crooked red cap stumbled up to her and screamed obscenities in her face. He actually looked a lot like Mario Batali, but that didn't make the scene any more palatable. After a brief but tense confrontation, we headed ― a little frazzled ― out to the farmers' market. Nothing pleases Mom like a good piece of cheese; she's fairly Wallace-like in that respect. So we stopped at the Cowgirl Creamery stand and picked up a wedge of the hallowed cheese-crafting institution's latest triumph: Wagon Wheel.

Cowgirl calls this alpine creation its "everyday" cheese. If you ever saw the inside of our Mom's fridge, you would know that Mt. Tam can be an everyday cheese as well. All the same, we immediately took a shine to the newcomer ($14.95/pound), a sweet, wonderfully milky cheese we take great pleasure in slicing for sandwiches. It tastes like a soft, creamy swig of the white stuff, which normally we would not be into unless we were eating a peanut butter-and-banana sandwich or chocolate cake. It makes you think of milk in bottles, delivered by a milkperson, shimmering rivulets squirting from the teats of a blissed-out cow, and family-owned farms, not the stench emanating from packed lots along Interstate 5, gross school lunches, and idiotic marketing campaigns.

The milk for Wagon Wheel comes from Straus. Cowgirl makes only 10 wheels of the 25-pound cheese each week, and for now, farmers' markets are where you can find it. Just be on the lookout for Mario Batali.

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Andrew Simmons

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