Marin County French Breakfast Cheese

A Northern California Original: Marin French Breakfast Cheese

The older I get, the snobbier I get about my cheese. The most expensive cheese in the case is not always the most delicious, and vice versa. What I’m looking for is uniqueness, flavor and inspiration. When I take a bite of cheese, I want to instantly think of all the ways I can cook with it or the beverages that I can pair with it.

I usually experience this phenomenon with hard aged cheeses. I like salt, and one typically finds that flavor component in more aged cheeses. However, the first time I tasted the Marin Breakfast cheese, I lost my mind. I was visiting California on a wine trip and popped into the venerable creamery in Petaluma in Marin County. We had just visited a winery that makes sparkling wine, so we had that on-hand. Let me tell you, this little petite gem of a cheese was MADE for Champagne! (although I have been known to enjoy it with my breakfast coffee, too.)

Breakfast Cheese is a California original. It’s a fresh, unripened Brie that has been made in the Marin area since the 1800s. It was put on San Francisco saloon menus when men grabbed salted meat, pickled eggs and a mug of steam beer before heading to the docks to unload cargo from around the world.

I think you will love the tangy flavor and fluffy texture of this cheese, no matter the time of day. It’s the perfect size for a picnic for two or for putting on a cheese plate or serving on its own before dinner. It’s perfect paired with California sparkling wine or Sauvignon Blanc.

~ Shannon Welsh, Heinen’s Cheesemonger

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