The Most Perfect Cheese on the Planet Comes from California

The Most Perfect Cheese on the Planet Comes from California

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Ariel Knutson
Mar 2, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

I think I'm safe in saying that cheese makes everything better. Feeling happy? Celebrate with a creamy brie. Feeling glum? Eat a block of cheddar and you'll probably feel better. I'm from the Midwest, so I take cheese very seriously. Cheese is usually involved in one of my daily meals, if not more, and it's always my go-to thing to bring to parties. I have strong opinions about cheese.

In my never-ending quest to find the best cheese in the dairy aisle, I discovered one cheese that rules above the others; I only bust it out for special occasions. This cheese is not cheap, and you will most likely not find it at any ole' grocery store (unless you're very lucky). It also, surprisingly, doesn't come from France. In fact, this cheese is a born-and-raised Californian. Can you guess what it is?

(Image credit: Cowgirl Creamery)

My Favorite Cheese

The most perfect cheese on the planet is Mt Tam from Cowgirl Creamery based in Petaluma, California. It's a soft, triple-cream cheese made from organic milk from Straus Family Dairy. The ladies at Cowgirl Creamery say that this is their most popular cheese, and also their first foray into aged cheese. The cheese is named after Mt. Tamalpais, a Northern California landmark. It has won a few awards, including first place in 2004 at the American Cheese Society.

Mt Tam is a creamy but firm cheese with a bloomy rind. The cheese melts in your mouth and has a buttery, but earthy (mushroom) flavor. I love to eat it with simple crackers and a glass of bubbly or wine with minerality.

This is absolutely the most perfect cheese to bring to a nice party. It's a crowd-pleaser. It feels special because it's very buttery and unique. It doesn't ooze out of its container like brie, and it's easier to slice compared to a hard and crumbly Parmesan.

The only thing stopping me from eating this cheese all the time is the price, which can run up to $24 for eight ounces of cheese. Every once in awhile, however, it's worth it to me if I'm celebrating something special.

(Image credit: Gina Eykemans)

Mt Tam isn't the only delicious cheese to come out of Cowgirl Creamery. The duo behind the cult cheese (pictured above) also have at least 10 different kinds of cheese (some aged, some fresh) that they sell and ship. Kitchn did a pretty wonderful tour of their place a couple years ago, and I highly recommend taking a look. Sue and Peggy seem just as delightful as the cheese they produce.

Read more: Making Cheese & Making Friends: A Visit With the Ladies of Cowgirl Creamery

Have you ever had Mt Tam cheese? Did it change your life forever? Please let us know in the comments.

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