Last week I raved (again) about Samish Bay's Ladysmith cheese. And I promise that after this week, I'll move on to another great regional product. But it deserves mention that the lovely Ladysmith just won a first place prize at the American Cheese Society's annual competition held last weekend here in Seattle.
The fresh Ladysmith, made by cheesemaker Chad Clarke with milk from Suzanne and Roger Weschler's cows in Bow, Wa, took home First Place in Fresh Unripened Cow's Milk Cheese category. And this isn't the only award Samish Bay and other local cheesemakers took home from this competition where 225 cheesemakers from 34 states, Canada, and Mexico, entered 1,462 cheeses.Along with the fresh Ladysmith award, Samish Bay's aged Ladysmith earned second place in the Farmstead Cheeses up to 60 Days category, and their Ladysmith with Chives took third place in Farmstead Cheeses with Flavoring. Samish Bay's yogurt cheese (called labneh, its Middle Eastern name) also won third place in Cultured Products from Cow's Milk.
Other local winners: Port Townsend's Mount Townsend Creamery won a first place award for their Seastack cheese (a deliciously funky soft cheese with a distinct, vegetable ash rind) in the Soft Ripened category. Estrella Family Creamery, who makes cheese in Montesano, won first place in the smoked Italian style, for their "Weebles" cheese. Their Caldwell Crick Chevrette also one first place in the the sheep or mixed milks class.
You can find Samish Bay and Mt. Townsend cheeses year-round at the University District and West Seattle Farmers Markets, and at the Broadway Sunday Farmers Market through December. Estrella Family Creamery also sells year-round at the University District Farmers Market, as well as the Columbia City Farmers Market (through October 20).