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Seattleites will be able to vicariously participate in the opening of Beecher's Handmade Cheese's New York City location later this week by purchasing Flatiron Cheese,

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New Beecher's Store Sends Flatiron Cheese Home to Seattle

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Seattleites will be able to vicariously participate in the opening of Beecher's Handmade Cheese's New York City location later this week by purchasing Flatiron Cheese, a washed-rind tribute to the new store's neighborhood.

"It's a celebration cheese," says Lois Mintzer, manager of the Pike Place Market store.

Beecher's typically issues a new cheese each year, although Mintzer says the pace of introduction has slowed as the 8-year old cheesery has settled on a "set production of things that work well for us."

Flatiron Cheese, made from upstate New York milk, will be available about two months after the New York store opens, but Mintzer reports that a batch which got its start in Seattle and was transferred to New York for finishing will go on sale at both stores Friday.

Beecher's 8,000-square-foot venue on Broadway has generated much cheese chatter in the city. Freed from the retail constraints imposed by Pike Place Market, owner Kurt Beecher Dammeier plans to sell charcuterie, coffee, and cheeses from other American cheesemakers. The complex will include a basement café where patrons can sip wine and watch seven-pound wheels of Flatiron Cheese age.

Mintzer didn't make Flatiron, which is washed in salt brine, but she's sampled it. "We've had it as a test cheese," she says.

The new cheese has many of the hallmarks of Beecher's Flagship, says Mintzer, who describes the rind as "mild."

"It has the Flagship flavors," Mintzer says. "There's a little pungent aroma, but it has a similar buttery cream."

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