Beecher’s Handmade Cheese’s Flatiron, An American Original

In 2003, Kurt Beecher Dammeier opened Beechers Handmade Cheese at the famous Pike’s Place Market in Seattle. His first cheese was Flagship, a nutty, slightly sweet cheddar that has become synonymous with great Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest.

In 2010, I had the honor of being in the make room at Beecher’s “making” Flagship. “Making” for folks like me means the cheesemakers let me do things that could not possibly hurt the final product.

© Echoes from the CheeseMines

Kurt decided to head East in 2011, opening a second facility in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, where a new cheese, a washed rind, would be made in addition to his Award-Winning Flagship and curds. The New York facility includes a café and a respectable cheese case with American favorites, featuring many Northeast local Artisan cheeses. Like the Pike’s Place Market location, the make room is surrounded by glass allowing visitors to watch the cheesemakers create cheese, glorious cheese.

Appropriately named Flatiron, Beecher’s new washed rind is aged downstairs in The Cellar, a restaurant and bar that features a cheese-focused menu. Wheels of Flatiron in various stages of aging are on display in The Cellar.

As with all washed rinds, at room temperature Flatiron emits a stinkiness; a pleasantly mild earthiness. The B. Linens growing on the brine-washed surface also produce a slightly tacky, salmon-tinted rind.

© Echoes from the CheeseMines

The texture is elastic with a creamy center paste firmer near the rind. The pale ivory paste and the salmon rind create a beautiful cheese.

But beyond beautiful is the taste of Flatiron: nutty with a bit of sour that adds character and complexity. The taste is simply amazing; lingering on the palate.

Once more, Kurt and his Cheesemakers have created another superb American Original…

You can read my website’s 2012 interview with Kurt Beecher Dammeier by clicking here.

Please visit my website, which celebrated its fifth anniversary this past August.

Marcella Wright
ACS Certified Cheese Professional