Cheese Louise, a cool little cheese and gift shop on The Parkway in Richland. I love going in there, because the proprietors (who would rather be called "cheese mongrels" than cheesemongers) truly are dogged in their pursuit of cheese excellence.
Yes, their cheeses come from all over the world, but the shop is local! And some of best cheeses in existence do, in fact, come from other parts of the world. Cheese Louise does carry some Northwest-made products, as does Ariel Gourmet right next door. And let's face it, if I knew of any locally-made cheeses, I'd be all over them. I depend on my readers to let me know about local foods, because I can't discover them all myself!
Anyhoo, that day at Cheese Louise, I slowly came to realize, through discussing the offerings with one of the delightful cheese consultants, that I was in the mood for feta. "But not just any feta!" I insisted. I have been disappointed in feta before ... expecting a sharp, briny tang and getting instead a chalky nothingness. But at Cheese Louise, you can taste before you buy. One taste of the all-sheep's-milk Pastures of Eden feta cheese, and my eyes lit up. Peoples' eyes lighting up is probably a pretty common occurrence at Cheese Louise.
That cheese was destined to be crumbled over a simple Greek salad of red pepper, cucumber, tomato, and Kalamata olives, with a drizzle each of lemon juice and olive oil, and a finishing sprinkle of oregano. More will be stirred into sauteed spinach with mushrooms, and it's the kind of cheese you could just serve a hunk of, along with walnuts, crudites or fruit, and enjoy immensely.
If you haven't done so yet, do pop into Cheese Louise for a delightful cheese browse!