OUR PRODUCT QUALITY

We love sharing the story behind our products and sharing our process in making yummy, award-winning dairy products for you. Let's take a sneak peek at how we make delicious Tillamook products, and how we maintain our high standards of product quality.

Cheesemaking

Here at Tillamook, cheesemaking is about consistency, tradition, and patience. Our cheese has history on our side: we've been using the same well-aged cheddar recipe for over a century! Our most essential ingredient is fresh, high-quality milk. Milk will leave the farm and arrive at our cheese factories within one hour, and within 24 hours the milk will be turned into cheese.

Our natural cheese is made without any preservatives or artificial ingredients – it's 100% real cheese. What also sets Tillamook Cheese apart is our aging process: we naturally age all our cheddar cheese, from 60 days for our Medium Cheddar to three years for our Vintage Extra Sharp White Cheddar. It takes good old-fashioned time for our cheese to develop its award-winning taste, so one of our primary ingredients is patience.

Great tasting, naturally aged cheese takes time, and we don't do anything to rush through that process. When the time is right and our cheese has reached the proper age, then and only then will we package it and send it off to stores so everyone can have a taste. Our patience is rewarded, day after day and year after year.

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How We Make Our Cheese

Ice Cream

Tillamook Ice Cream inspires strong emotional reactions - almost always of the "yummmmm" or "I want more!" variety. There's a direct path from every scoop to a smile. So, how do we create that perfect scoop?

To make Tillamook Ice Cream, we first start with fresh, high-quality milk, as well as fresh cream. Then comes the most crucial step. What makes our ice cream extra special is its extra creaminess, and the level of creaminess is determined by ‘overrun’, or the amount of air added to ice cream. When we make our ice cream, we keep our overrun very low. Less air means more ice cream in every container, and more really creamy ice cream means more yummy. We think it's the perfect equation!

Once we've added any delicious berries, nuts, or other ingredients to create one of our 28 flavors, the finished ice cream is quickly frozen. (The temperature in our storage area is a brrrr-inducing -14 degrees!). It is only then that Tillamook Ice Cream is ready to be enjoyed and savored, scoop by scoop and lick by lick.

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How We Make Our Ice Cream

Beyond Cheese & Ice Cream

The Tillamook brand began with the tastiest cheese and creamiest ice cream in the land, but as our fans have demanded more, we’ve delivered. Today, the Tillamook brand stands for high-quality dairy products across five dairy categories: cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream and butter.

Because of the specialty equipment required to make yogurt, sour cream and butter, we’ve partnered with trusted industry experts who specialize in these areas to make each of these products, following our unique Tillamook recipes. The Tillamook product development and quality assurance team works very closely with all of our partners to perfect these products. In addition, our sensory evaluation team taste tests every Tillamook product, ensuring that anything that bears the Tillamook name consistently meets our exact specifications, quality requirements, and yum factor!

Product Quality

At Tillamook, the quality of our products starts with the highest quality milk. To ensure this, each load of milk is tested before it enters our factories. If it doesn't meet Tillamook standards for the highest quality milk, it won't be used to make our products.

Our steps to ensure high product quality don't end there, though. We have an entire product quality and sensory evaluation team (affectionately nicknamed “the taste buds of Tillamook”) that work day in and day out to test all of our fine dairy products and ensure they meet meticulous Tillamook quality standards. These are no ordinary taste buds either. Becoming a member of the Tillamook sensory evaluation team involves rigorous taste tests and other evaluations to determine who has the most sensitive and astute palates. And our team of testers exercises their taste buds regularly with blind taste tests to keep their senses keen.

Day in and day out, our sensory evaluation team is taste-testing all of our Tillamook products including Tillamook cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, butter, and even whey. That's the Tillamook way - we take pride in going above and beyond to be sure our products are of the highest quality. It's no surprise that we've won nearly 700 awards in our history, including wins that we’re especially proud of at the World Championship Cheese Contest®, American Cheese Society Conference, and U.S. Championship Cheese Contest®. You can taste our level of care and commitment to quality with every single bite.

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Jill Allen, Manager of Product Quality