While visiting Seattle, your family simply must make the obligatory stroll through Pike Place Market. In addition to watching flying fish, sampling fresh local produce, and scouring for tourist gifts, be sure to stop by Beecher's Handmade Cheese for an inside peek (and taste) into the fine art of cheese making.
Without any investment, you can watch workers make cheese through the large glass windows; depending on the day you visit, the cheese may look like nothing more than a large caldron of milk being slowly stirred. We visited on a couple different days and saw both the first steps in the process and also the nearing completing curdled cheese product that was being completed by careful and quick working hands. My children enjoyed watching the cheese makers and learning about the cheese making process through signs and visuals.
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More than watching the process, I will have to say that we enjoyed sampling the final products even more. From award winning cheese samples to ready-to-eat food (grilled cheese sandwiches, hot Panini's, the "World's Best" mac & cheese, and a variety of soups) you can sit indoors on a giant milk jug and watch the process while snacking on the delicious final result.
- The store is often very busy. It might take you a bit of time to snag a seat, so prep your kids and make sure they are able to stand and eat if necessary.
- The cafe food is a bit pricey but it goes farther than you think. I bought my girls (7&8) each a 16 oz tub of macaroni and cheese (not sure what I was thinking!) and they probably ate only 1/4 of it. The 16 ounce tub could have fed 3-4 kids.
- The Mac & Cheese is crazy rich. You're going to want something to drink so save yourself some time & buy a bottled soda or water while you order your food.
- Be sure to buy some cheese to take home to your friends. They'll love you! You can snag their flagship cheese or a wide variety of others, including the surprisingly delicious curds served up in a 6 ounce tub.
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Photo credit: MoreLife81