Tasting Notes: Samish Bay Cheese Co. Ladysmith

Samish Bay Cheese Co.Here's a lovely new fresh cheese from Skagit Valley cheesemakers Samish Bay Cheese Co. ( in northwest Washington on the way to Bellingham). Suzanne and Roger Wechsler make a whole variety of lovely aged cheeses but last year rolled out a line of fresh styles of cheese including this one, called Ladysmith. Steve Jones, cheesemonger at Steve's Cheese, describes it as a "cross between queso fresco and ricotta salata." The version I tried (above) was aged about two weeks. I usually have fairly low expectations with fresh cheeses, which can sometimes be bland and tasteless -  but the Ladysmith is gorgeous, a real testament to the quality of the Wechsler's organic cow's milk. It's firm enough to hold its shape but cuts like cheesecake - beautifully silky and smooth in texture.  The sweet and tart, buttery-rich flavor will only get better as the spring and summer progresses and the cows are grazing full time on valley grass and clover.... I love it now but also can't wait to try it then.