Cheese Madness

Cheese Madness descends on the co-op on Monday, March 20th! Our top cheddars, blues, goats, and smoked cheeses will be facing off in pursuit of “The Big Cheese” title. Prepare yourself for tasting and voting on this battle of the cheeses with a quick overview of the competitors:

Willamette Valley Smoked Gouda (Salem, OR)

The Willamette Valley Cheese dairy farm is nestled in the lush countryside of Salem, Oregon, in the heart of wine country. This is where their hand-crafted, artisan cheeses are thoughtfully created with quality milk and sustainable farming practices. Willamette Valley Cheese milks their own cows and makes it into creamy, delicious cheese the same day.

Their award-winning Gouda is slightly nutty with a subtle sweet finish and aged a minimum of four months. With heritage tracing back to Holland, they pride themselves in smaking their Gouda the traditional way and believe it would make the Dutch masters proud!

More info:

Rumiano Cheese Company Grass-Fed Smoked Cheddar (Crescent City, CA)

Rumiano Cheese Company is California's oldest family-owned cheese company. All of their dairies are located in the Pacific Coast region of Northern California. Year-round grazing cows provide nutritious milk, rich in both omega-3 fatty acids and beta-carotene, that is then transformed into their high-quality, award-winning cheeses using the highest quality Kosher and Non-GMO ingredients. All of the milk used in Rumiano cheese comes from cows that are free of antibiotics, free of artificial hormones, and free of pesticides and herbicides.

Rumiano’s Grass-Fed Smoked Cheddar features a smooth texture and bold, smoky flavor.

More info:

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company Original Blue (Point Reyes Station, CA)

At Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, they believe that great cheese is made in the pastures. It's made in the natural grasses and cool ocean breezes on their coastal, Northern California farm. It's made by healthy, pampered and well-fed cows that they raise from birth. It's made by hand, by artisan craftspeople.

Point Reyes’ Original Blue is the cheese that started it all. Produced on the family farm since 2000, California’s classic style blue cheese is rindless, all-natural and gluten-free. The addictive flavor is bold with hints of sweet milk and a peppery finish. Aged 3.5 months and certified Gluten-Free.

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Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue (Central Point, OR)

Inspired by a sense of place for 80 years, Rogue Creamery draws from the beauty and flavors of Southern Oregon’s Rogue River Valley to create their cheeses. Over the last half century, Rogue Creamery blue cheeses have received international acclaim. The certified sustainable whole milk they use to make their original blues comes from Rogue Creamery’s dairies along the banks of the rugged and scenic Rogue River.

Created nearly half a century ago, Oregon Blue cheese has been the West Coast’s exemplary, award-winning sustainable, cow milk blue cheese. Aged at least 90 days in their Roquefort modeled caves, it’s an approachable blue with a firm but buttery paste and a bouquet of flavors to satisfy a range of palettes. Bite into Oregon Blue and find a clean, briny flavor, notes of sweet cream and veins of mellow, earthy blue molds blooming throughout.

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Oak Leaf Creamery Goat Brie (Grants Pass, OR)

Oak Leaf Creamery hand-crafts vegetarian cheeses made with raw, goat milk and thistle rennet from their homegrown artichokes. Oak Leaf Creamery, located in Grants Pass, Oregon, is the sole commercialized maker of thistle rennet cheeses in the United States.

The small Brie-style raw goat milk cheese is made using the thistle rennet. The Goat Brie is buttery and rich with a bloomy edible rind.

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Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese (Arcata, CA)

In the 1970s, Mary Keehn, a self-proclaimed “serious hippie” and single mother of four, lived in a different world - a place where majestic redwoods hugged sprawling beaches along the expansive Northern California coastline. A place called Humboldt County. In search of healthy milk for her children, Mary noticed a neighbor who had goats for brush control. Two goats turned to four and pretty soon Mary had more. A lot of goats means a lot of milk, and so Mary tried her hand at making cheese. In 1983, Mary officially launched Cypress Grove Chevre.

Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese was conceived in a dream (yes, really!) by founder Mary Keehn, and this masterpiece paved the way for soft-ripened goat cheese in America. Each handcrafted wheel features a distinctive ribbon of edible vegetable ash. You'll enjoy buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish. As Humboldt Fog matures, the creamline develops and the flavor intensifies.

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Rogue Creamery Rogue’s Mary Cheddar (Central Point, OR)

Another masterpiece from Rogue Creamery just up the road in Central Point, Oregon.

The addition of fresh rosemary leaves to Rogue’s creamy and tangy cheddar recipe creates a subtly savory and aromatic cheese. This unique combination is a wonderful addition to any cheese plate or melted over roasted meats and rustic breads.

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Rumiano Cheese Company Raw Sharp Cheddar (Crescent City, CA)

A delicious, raw cheddar locally made just south of the Oregon border in Crescent City, California.

Rumiano’s Raw Sharp Cheddar features a smooth texture and sharp flavor. Rumiano’s raw cheddar is heat-treated at a maximum of 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 seconds and aged a minimum of 60 days.

More info:

Taste and vote on daily match-ups between 11am and 1pm Monday, March 20th through Friday, March 24th. The winner of “The Big Cheese” title will go on sale following the tournament!