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”?
- 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:
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.