People like to throw around superlatives when talking about the colossus of curd clout, that holey wheel so familiar, it has its own emoji—Emmentaler. It’s been called the world’s largest cheese, Switzerland’s most popular and one of the U.S.’s most imported. And according to Alfred Rufer, vice director of the Emmentaler Appellation d’Origine Protegée (AOP), it’s also the most copied.
With more than two decades of operations, two creameries, four retail stores, dozens of honors and 2,000 tons of cheese, it’s safe to say Cowgirl Creamery, located in picturesque Point Reyes Station, CA, is a success. And to think, it all started thanks to a journey in a baby blue Chevy van.
You see, in 1975, friends Sue Conley and Peggy Smith graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, packed up the van, and drove cross country to the then-counter-culture cuisine epicenter—the Bay Area.