When one thinks of the agricultural products of Humboldt county, cheese is not the first thing that springs to mind. But that’s the thing I’m here to tell you about, and anyway, 4/20 was Tuesday. And, as it turns out, there are some very fine non-illicit substances coming out of the CA Far North, much of it thanks to the Cypress Grove Chevre cheese company. The above is the one known as “Humboldt Fog,” their signature cheese and, frankly, a hard one to beat. It’s a relatively mild blue, with a creamy layer under the rind and just enough bite to keep things interesting. We first discovered this cheese in, of all places, Las Vegas, at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant in the MGM Grand, where they put it in the beet salad, to great effect. At the moment, my favorite way to eat it (in fact, a strong contender for my favorite way to eat anything) is spread on a cracker with Emandal Farm*, for a near-perfect sweet/spicy/creamy/cheesy flavor.
*I hesitate to mention how good this is, because Emandal doesn’t have much of a retail arm, and my only source for the pepper jelly is to snag a jar from the gift box my Uncle Bruce sends to my parents every Christmas, and I could do without the competition.