Washington Gets Good Cheese

As reported in today's Food section story by Walter Nicholls, there are some major cheesy developments happening in Washington, namely last week's opening of uber-fromagerie Cowgirl Creamery.

I poked my head into the shop yesterday afternoon and the first thought that came to mind was, "It's about time! Washington is finally catching up with other food-centric cities that boast small shops selling artisan foods."

For old times' sake, I selected two favorites, Humboldt Fog, an ash-veined, goaty treat and Cowgirl's signature triple cow-cream Mt. Tam. Then I asked for a surprise, something very different from the other two, which the woman behind the counter dutifully obliged with a hunk of San Andreas, a drier-textured, mild beauty made from raw sheep's milk.

If the selection is overwhelming and makes you feel faint, ask for help. Based on my visit, the staff is eager to educate on what's what and give you taste of something that piques your curiosity. The passion seems to run high, too; one employee named Katie recently quit her job as a lawyer to work with cheese full time.

For those who just want to grab their cheese and run to the park, there are daily grab bags, with three pre-wrapped selections, for $20. I like the element of surprise here, too.

Co-owner Sue Conley tells me that the Cowgirls plan to host regular cheese tastings, including one as soon as late next week. As soon as I have details, I'll post them in this space.

For a closer look at the shop, turn that dial to Channel 9 News (WUSA), Thursday evening at 5:45 p.m., when my colleague and Going Out Guru Erin Hartigan gets a cheese-filled tour.

By Kim ODonnel |  June 21, 2006; 11:30 AM ET Food Shopping
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Comments

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Woo hoo!! Now all we need is a decent bakery and we'll be in business!

Posted by: Divine Ms. K | June 21, 2006 12:30 PM

We have another awesome cheese store called Cheesetique in Del Ray. She does cheese classes on a monthly basis. You can try almost any cheese in the shop before you buy to ensure that you'll like it. Plus, the owner is a fun person to meet.

Posted by: Michelle | June 21, 2006 2:15 PM

You should get Dan Steinberg, the Postsportswriter who did the Olympics blog from Turin to resurrect his "Cheese of the Day." He's quite the cheese man.

Posted by: Kathryn | June 21, 2006 3:08 PM

Stopped by the Cowgirl Creamery today for the second time and bought another bunch of cheeses. A great store -- very nice people working there, who will go out of their way to talk with you and think about what cheeses to recommend in light of your preferences. Yum.

Posted by: Sam | June 22, 2006 5:40 PM

I recommend Cowgirl Creamery Redhawk and some fresh ripe figs. Cut the figs in half and fill the cavity with a small amount of cheese and place on a cracker. The cheese is overwhelming strong stuff alone but with the figs the combination is transcendent. And substituting fresh raspberries ain't bad.

Posted by: Jack | July 15, 2006 6:09 PM

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