Sunday's almost-Spring mild temperature and blue skies inspired a drive to the Sonoma Coast. Lots of other people had the same idea and the tiny hamlet of Valley Ford was booming with visitors. Open for nine months, the new storefront and cafe for Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery was our destination. The long-time ranching family has created a lovely culinary hub that serves locals and tourists well, stocked with their own cheeses, local food products, soft-serve ice cream, espresso drinks, and cheese-based dishes for a light meal.
We parked ourselves at the counter to order the $10 cheese flight that showcases each of the cheeses made from the extra rich Jersey milk of their own closed herd.
Farmers Cheese - Sold only at this store, made with pasteurized milk. Very fresh and lightly tangy with ultra-fine curd.
Farmers Cheese - garlic and herb - A little savory lift from the garlic and herbs.
Highway One (Rustic Fontina Style) - Raw milk, washed rind complexity, such smooth and creamy texture
Estero Gold (Montasio Style) - Raw milk, the original product and flagship, grassy and fruity notes similar to Alpine styles
Estero Gold 'Reserve' (Montasio Style) - Raw milk, aged 18+ months, deeper and more intense, crunchy tyrosine crystals, flaky texture
Grazin' Girl (Gorgonzola Style) - Raw milk, sweet buttery paste shows off the high quality milk from this farmstead to contrast with the pungent bluing
They're all great cheeses, and I enjoyed tasting them side by side at the source with a glass of rosé wine.
While normally closed on Mondays, the shop opened for the President's Day holiday to offer its first barbecue pop-up. A success, and they expect to do this again.
Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery
14390 Valley Ford Road
VALLEY FORD, CA 94972
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays (check for seasonal hours)
by Kelsey Butler | Nostalgia is a factor not to be discounted when it comes to food, and these five holiday staples sometimes...
by David Klein | Mail order cookies, cakes, pies, and other sweet treats are better (and more prolific) than ever...