Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sea Breeze Vache de Vachon

The Vache de Vachon is a cheese made in the Tomme de Savoie style, but it's not from France. This version hails from Vashon Island, Wash., in the middle of Puget Sound.

Vashon is a leafy, bucolic place. It's just a short ferry ride from Seattle -- but with a laid back vibe that's light years from any big-city pace.

It's a farmstead cheese, made from the milk of cows raised by Sea Breeze Farms on Vashon. The batch I tasted was well aged, which made it drier and richer than many Tommes.

A hard cheese, with an inedible rind, the Vache de Vachon has slight sweetness to it (think milky, not sugary) along with a more intense nuttiness. Pair it with apples or just-ripened pears.

Of course, Sea Breeze is a small operation, so the cheese might be hard to find. It's available at farmer's markets around Seattle, and some stores including Pike Place Market.

Sadly, they do not ship their food. But if you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest, search out the Vache de Vashon. You'll be glad you did.