California is known for many things, from its beaches to its wine country, but one of its lesser-known treasures is the California Cheese Trail. This route connects over 60 cheese-related businesses throughout the state, offering cheese lovers the chance to taste their way through a wide range of high-quality artisanal cheeses and meet the people behind them.
Here's everything you need to know to plan your own cheese-themed adventure on the California Cheese Trail
First things first: you'll need to do some research to figure out which cheese producers and shops you want to visit. The California Cheese Trail website is a great place to start. It has a map of all the businesses on the trail, as well as information about each one, such as their location, hours of operation, and what types of cheese they specialize in. You can use this information to plan your route and decide which businesses you want to visit. And the website lists events happening at various creameries including hands-on cheesemaking classes, tours and more.
When planning your trip, keep in mind that the California Cheese Trail is not a physical trail or route that you can follow from start to finish. Instead, it's a collection of businesses scattered throughout the state. This means that you'll need to do some driving (or other forms of transportation) to get from one business to another. However, this also means that you have the freedom to create your own personalized itinerary and visit the businesses that interest you the most.
As you plan your trip, don't forget to factor in some time for learning about the cheesemaking process. Many of the businesses on the California Cheese Trail offer tours and tastings, where you can see firsthand how cheese is made and learn about the different types of cheese produced in California. This can be a fascinating and educational experience, and it will deepen your appreciation for the cheese you're tasting.
what kinds of cheeses can you expect to find on the California Cheese Trail?
Pretty much anything you can think of! From creamy, tangy goat cheese to sharp, nutty cheddar, California produces a wide variety of cheeses, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Some of the most popular cheeses on the trail include Humboldt Fog, a creamy, tangy goat cheese from Cypress Grove; Point Reyes Original Blue, a bold and tangy blue cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company; and Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam, a rich and buttery triple-cream cheese.
Of course, no cheese adventure would be complete without some delicious food to go with it. Luckily, many of the businesses on the California Cheese Trail also offer other local products, such as bread, crackers, charcuterie, and wine. You can create your own cheese board or picnic basket and enjoy a relaxing lunch or snack amid the beautiful California scenery.
Traveling the California Cheese Trail is a wonderful way to explore the state's rich and diverse cheese culture, while supporting local cheesemakers and businesses. Whether you're a die-hard cheese enthusiast or just looking for a fun and delicious way to explore California, the Cheese Trail is definitely worth checking out. So pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready for a cheesy adventure you won't forget!