About 2 hours south of Seattle, is a quaint country called Willapa Hills. It’s rolling fields, fruit farms, vegetable patches and mossy river bends are picture perfect countryside. And out in the smack dab middle by the river is the Willapa Hills Homestead, serving up fresh eggs, sheep and cow milk cheeses.
My friends and I found this place by accident, and I’m so freakin’ glad we did! We found the most flavorful, freshest cream cheeses I’ve ever tasted! They came in unique spicy and sweet flavors, too, like cranberry, honey chipotle and bacon blu. Not to mention, we were the only ones visiting on such a rainy day, so we got the full backstage tour. Better believe I milked it! 😉Our guide showed us the cheese vats and discussed sanitation while I photographed everything. She reviewed the cow versus sheep milk, and discussed they use of extra whey as fertilizer on their fields.
And, she let us sample every cheese Willapa Hills made—approximately 12 kinds, which is a lot of variety for a family farm. And holy cow, I’ve never tasted such cream cheese! It was light yet super rich, and ever so slightly tart. It was basically an appetizer unto it’s own. It’s all natural and way creamier than store bought, factory made varieties of cheese. The sweet hostess even allowed us to take home a cream cheese which otherwise would have been thrown out in a few days—and it was still the most delicious thing I ever tasted! It simply had more zing than the fresher cheese, kinda like buttermilk.
I can only imagine what a wonderful cheesecake this stuff would make! Our hostess must have read my mind, because she handed me a recipe for one! But I didn’t get enough cheese to get into a baking phase. Even though we bought 8 containers, that stuff was gone in three days!
The blue cheeses they aged 7+ months were zingy, but still rich too!
For $5-7 per 8 ounces of farmstead cheese, I’d say we got a deal. And I feel good supporting local farmers! I’ll never forget the taste of those rich cheeses. Thanks to my roommate, Bryan, for driving to this Washington gem! If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a visit. You can find their cheese in some stores, but farm fresh is always better!