A Slice of History: Rinds to Rindless
In the early 1930s, we began researching the possibility of smaller sized cuts of our cheese, including a method of canning cheese! We learned that the “severest competitor” to our larger rounds of cheddar was packaged cheese in consumer-friendly weights. At this time in our history, most of the cheese we made came in wheels or larger blocks that were kept, normally, in a cheese case in grocery stores. Consumers asked for an amount, and the proprietor would slice it from the larger block and wrap it in brown paper.
By 1947, we began marketing our first rindless cheese. Tillamook rindless cheese was made by aging a 20-pound block of cheddar without its cheesecloth wrapping. Once the block was ready, smaller 1- and ½-pound weights were cut from the large block. To package the cheese, an inner wrap was applied, followed by a cellophane overwrap. When the main Tillamook plant was constructed in 1949, it included a packaging department for rindless-cheese cutting and wrapping.
Today, the process is much simpler. Smaller weights are cut from a 40-pound block and, instead of an inner and outer wrap, there is only one, colorful wrapper hiding the cheesy goodness inside.