Yesterday, the flagship Whole Foods in downtown Austin celebrated its 30th birthday by bringing in live music and dozens of vendors offering samples of their products. Texas wineries Inwood Estates, Flat Creek, Fall Creek, Dry Comal Creek, and Messina Hof poured tastings of their most popular wines while Houston based Saint Arnold Brewery offered their summer Lawnmower ale. Inside the store, over a dozen wineries from all around the world featured their popular selections while craft breweries poured their recently released fall ales. Making my way through the store tasting various Oktoberfest and pumpkin ales (and impulse purchasing a six pack of Harpoon’s Octoberfest), I finally located the reason for my trip.
Enter San Francisco based Cowgirl Creamery’s special edition organic Buckaroo, a minimally aged washed-rind cow’s milk cheese made especially for Whole Foods’ 30th anniversary. In place of dessert, this little treat became our after dinner cheese course. The semisoft cheese is mild, with a slightly nutty finish. It paired surprisingly well with the rich, malty Harpoon Octoberfest ale, leaving a hint of vanilla in contrast to the beer’s smokiness. Dried cherries would have made a perfect companion to this versatile cheese. We tried it with organic raspberry preserves, which brought out the rich dairy mouthfeel of the cheese and a hint of pistachio on the finish.
With less than half the wedge left, I doubt the Buckaroo will last until the end of this week.