A Slice of History: Cheese Spreads
Cheese spreads, the yummy product that can be spread on crackers, celery sticks, bread, or whatever else you have a mind to spread it on for tasty snacks.
We first dived into making cheese spreads, called “Club Cheese” at that time, in the late 1940s. When our plant was constructed in 1949, it included a packaging room for rindless cheese and Club Cheese production. Club Cheese was made from trim pieces that resulted in cutting down the larger rindless blocks into smaller consumer-friendly weights. To make the spreads, the trim pieces were ground up and mixed with flavorings. It was then “packaged in a sausage-shaped pliofilm wrappers that keep the cheese fresh and moist,” so stated a 1951 promotion. It could be spread or sliced, making it the perfect size to serve on crackers.
We started with simple flavors: aged cheddar, garlic flavor, and smoke flavor. Then we got a little more adventurous and added onion and bacon flavors to the line of Club Cheeses.
This photo from 1949 shows the steps in the process: The grind machine to grind the trim pieces, the mixer to add in flavors, the “stuffer” to package the cheese into the casings, and the final weighing of the packaged product.
Today, we offer four flavors of cheese spreads, which are only available at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.