Memorial Day weekend the stars aligned and Jim and I escaped for our overdue weekend alone in Westport.
As we neared the end of our two-hour drive to the Washington coast, hunger set in and Bay City Sausage Market appeared on the side of the road like a forest oasis.
Bay City Sausage Market features fresh home-made sausage and beef jerky. You can also order smoked whole turkeys year-round and if you’re the meat raising or fish catching type have your fish or clams vacuum packed and your meat custom cut, processed, smoked and packaged to your specifications. But we were on a search solely for sustenance.
We were greeted by the smell of pepper jerky just out of the smoker and a case stuffed with smoked sausage variety. We chose three in sliced, ready-to-eat snack packs: the Mulligan, a beef and pork blend billed as “EXTRA HOT,” Hungarian, a mild pork sausage smothered in paprika, and German Garlic, a beef and pork blend with a “super garlicky flavor.” With sausage in hand, I started dreaming of a charcuterie and cheese plate paired with a bottle of red, devoured in the sun. Better get something for the road . . .
Gnawing on hot peppery beef jerky, we drove on toward Westport, with a quick stop at the Westport Winery for a wine tasting, bottle of syrah and cheese. Washington State University Creamery Crimson Fire, Wilamette Valley Cheese Co. Farmstead Herb de Provence Havarti, and Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue.
We arrived in Westport and headed straight to the condo’s kitchen to assemble our finds and pour our wine. Then it was out to the back patio to take in the salt air, sun and watch our neighbors below filleting their catch of the day. The cheese and sausage combinations danced and whirled together on our palates. First a fiery blast of jalapeno in the Crimson Fire Cheese, then the mellowing taste of the Hungarian sausage. Next the sharp tang of the Smokey Blue and the heat of the Mulligan. All accompanied by the steadying boldness of the syrah.
No crackers, bread, almonds, or olives needed. This cheese and sausage combination can stand on its own.
What’s your favorite item on a charcuterie plate? Have any cheeses to recommend?