Aging To Eating
Aging to Eating
From the block forming towers, the cheddar is cut into 40-pound blocks and vacuum-sealed in airtight, moisture-proof bags. The blocks are cooled rapidly and then stacked in our cold storage warehouse, a refrigerator larger than a football field and about seven stories tall. With all of our on-site cold storage, we are capable of holding approximately 50 million pounds of cheese.
It's here in our chilly warehouse (40º-42º F) where our cheddar cures and ages for up to three years. The longer it ages, the sharper and more full-bodied it becomes. Even our youngest cheddar, Tillamook Medium Cheddar, is aged a minimum of 60 days.
When the time is right, our team of cheese analysts sample the cheddar. They test the 40th and 80th block from each batch to make sure all of the cheddar meets Tillamook quality standards. Every day, our cheese analysts sample about 300 40-pound blocks of cheese! The cheese is graded by sight, smell, taste and texture. Their tool of trade is called a cheese trier, which they use to remove a core sample from the block.