Dive in and explore what's happening in our community!

Making the world’s best cheddar cheese isn’t easy. It requires the highest quality ingredients, an age-old recipe, and a boat load of patience. So how is Tillamook Cheese actually “made better”?

In short:

- Tillamook Cheeses are always naturally aged to perfection
- We only use the highest quality milk with no artificial growth hormones*
- Tillamook Cheddar is made using the same 100+ year old recipe from when our farmer-owned co-op was founded
- Every batch is tested by our Sensory Lab to ensure the highest quality and best-tasting cheese
- Tillamook Cheese has won hundreds of awards, including World’s Best Medium Cheddar

The longer story:

Naturally Aged to Perfection:

You can’t rush the aging process! Once Tillamook Cheddar is formed into 40lb blocks and vacuum sealed, it’s sent to our BIG warehouse to chill out. Depending on the desired sharpness, it can stay there anywhere from 2-60 months. By naturally aging our cheese slowly it develops the unique flavor characteristics that Tillamook Cheddar Cheese is known for.

Highest Quality Milk:

We believe that healthy cows produce quality, wholesome milk, and that the best milk makes the best dairy products – it’s a simple equation. It all starts on the farm with well-cared for cows, milk as fresh and pure as possible, and never with artificial growth hormones*. We test each batch of milk to be sure it’s the highest quality possible, and we turn that milk into products that taste better because they’re made better!

Always made from the same tried and true recipe:

A while ago (117 years ago to be exact), a man came along by the name of Peter McIntosh, who was kind enough to share his recipe for cheddar cheese with the Tillamook Valley. Over a hundred years later we are still using that same delicious (and award winning!) recipe.

Sensory Lab:

In order to create the distinct flavor and taste profile of Tillamook Cheddar Cheese, a process called heat-shocking is used. Heat-shocking the milk (as opposed to to pasteurizing) cooks the milk at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. We believe the heat shocking process helps retain the natural enzymes in our milk essential for producing quality cheddar cheese and creating that unique flavor of Tillamook Cheddar.

Then each and every batch of cheese is carefully tested by our group of trained Sensory Analysts to ensure only the highest quality products make it to the grocery store shelves. For example, based on smell, taste, and texture they are able to determine what type of cheddar a vat of cheese will be best suited for (Medium, Sharp, or Extra Sharp)…those are some smart taste buds!

Winning Awards:

We are honored to have received hundreds of awards in our 100+ year history! Most recently, we were named the World’s Best Medium Cheddar and America’s Best Monterey Jack and Colby Jack, but our full awards history spans many different types of Tillamook Cheese.

So, that’s why Tillamook Cheddar tastes better!

*The FDA has stated that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST treated and non-rBST treated cows.


Gene L:ester

Good Morning,
Love your cheese but would also love for you to make a Mild Cheddar.

August 30th, 2011 at 10:21 am


Tillamook Team

Hi Gene,

Thanks for sharing your suggestion that we produce mild cheddar cheese. It's very rewarding to have our loyal customers share their ideas with us. We take pride in all our products and are pleased that you appreciate our quality and taste. I've forwarded your comments to our product development team.

~ Jala of the Tillamook Team

August 30th, 2011 at 11:48 am

Boo Hoo

Tillamook Cheese is better due to your willingness to share with consumers your production process from beginning to end. It is interesting being able to view your factory during production. Growing up in central Minnesota, with three Kraft cheese plants within 12 miles (all closed to the public). I appreciate your willingness to let me know how you make my food! By the way, best cheese curds ever!!!

August 30th, 2011 at 6:17 pm


Tillamook Team

Yay, cheese curds! Thanks for your comment. It's great to know that folks appreciate the work that we do, and our effort to share how Tillamook works with our Fans. The staff works really hard to make great tasting cheese and we're thankful we can share that process with you. I'll pass your comment to the team at the Cheese Factory.

- Jala of the Tillamook Team

August 31st, 2011 at 8:57 am


I only use Tillamook cheese because you make great cheese, and you don't use rennet which is very important to me. I do wish you made a mozzarella and ricotta cheese though. I would like to be able to make lasagna.

August 31st, 2011 at 5:19 pm


For a basic table cheese or sandwich cheese incredible! Any suggestions for a good fondue recipe?

September 1st, 2011 at 12:04 am


Tillamook Team

Hi, Mae! Thanks for your note! We actually do use rennet, but it's vegetable-based and kosher-certified. You can read more about it here. In regards to mozzarella and ricotta, stirred curd and cheddar cheese are our specialty, so we prefer to sticks with those varieties and make them really well! I'm so glad you're a Tillamook fan!

~ Jala of the Tillamook Team

October 26th, 2011 at 4:37 pm


Tillamook Team

Hi there, Crystal! Here is a recipe for fondue that you might like. Let me know if this works for you! We'll also be posting some fondue recipes closer to the holidays, so keep watch!

~ Jala of the Tillamook Team

October 26th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Dorothy D

extra sharp makes a great cheese ball for the Holidays...

December 15th, 2011 at 11:58 am


Tillamook Team

Thanks for the holiday tip, Dorothy!

-Laura of the Tillamook Team

December 16th, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Add your comment

Keep Exploring Blog Posts