Friday, December 28, 2007

Boots in Cheese at Beecher's

A while ago, I posted that I would love to stomp in the cheese at Beecher's while wearing yellow boots. Dreams do come true! Actually, pretty close. So I don't have yellow boots but I have these blue and white ones.
Yes, I got to put my feet in the cheese, actually in the leftover milk that was going through the drain on the floor(it felt so warm).
Did you really think that they would let me stomp in the cheese?
The place was squeaky clean which I didn't expect. I always imagine that behind the scenes you find out about some nasty hygiene secrets that you weren't aware of. Nope, not here. The only secret here is that you could probably eat of the floor.

The people were extremely friendly. Brad, the head cheese maker made sure that I felt like a part of the cheese making family.

My dream came true! I got to witness the cheese making process.

Here is my Beecher's Story. I hope that the pictures tell it all.

The Big Cheese: Beecher's Flagship Cheese, a cheese made of Gruyere and Cheddar cheese cultures(this is the cheese that they made that day). Read more here.

Meet the Cheese makers.....
There is Blaine. Blaine studied communications at Arizona State University.
He worked in the fish section of the market and decided to move into the cheese direction. He couldn't handle the dirty looks that he would get for smelling like fish on the bus. He loves making cheese and invests all his passion into the cheese.

There is Bjorn. He studied molecule biology at Washington State University. He has a unique choice in music and a real love for cheese.

This Cloth is used to filter any debris or grass from the milk.

The Test
This test checks for antibiotics in the milk. The test looks like a pregnancy test, a certain color comes up if antibiotics are found in the milk.
If antibiotics are found, all the milk is dumped and the farmer gets in trouble. The
farmer then finds the cow responsible for this. Poor cow!

Cheese Components

1)Pasteurized whole cow's milk
3)Rennet- used to thicken milk(they used a vegetable based Rennet)
4)Salt- They used kosher salt(large grains of salt)

Cheese Fact: Ten thousand pounds of milk makes about one thousand to eleven hundred pounds of cheese.

In the pictures, you can watch the cheese change textures(say it fast, 10 times).
I started my day at 8 A.M but the ingredients really transformed into cheese at around noon.
That's it, now you know the secret. The best time to peek through the window is at noon or 12:30 when you can really get a glimpse of the action.
You can grab a serving of the World's Best Macaroni and Cheese and sit right in front of the window to savor the beauty of the cheese.
Being inside was really interesting, I felt like a fish in a tank. Everyone stared as they walked by. Oh and from one angle, there is a machine in the way. So all I could see were jeans lined up on the window. I couldn't see the people's upper bodies or heads. I wanted to take a picture but I didn't want to scare the people away.

After a day of cheese, only one thing was on my mind. Poutine. Since I grew up in Montreal, I am used to eating big plates of fries, drowned in gravy and covered in melted cheese curds. I guess I'll get some Beecher's curds this week and make myself some Canadian comfort food or maybe I'll head to the Steelhead Diner where they serve Poutine made from Beecher's Curds.
Beecher's Handmade Cheese
1600 Pike Place
Seattle, Washington 98101