Tillamook makes GREAT cheese! We have tried it before as some varieties are sold in the grocery stores in the northwest. But the chance for free samples, plus tasting their wonderful ice cream, was too much to pass up. We like seeing how things are made and enjoy factory tours. So off we went on a beautiful drive to Tillamook, about 48 miles from Lincoln City.
The cheese was WONDERFUL! Lots of great flavors to choose from and quite a few I hadn't seen in the local grocery stores. A garlicky cheddar captured my taste buds, along with some blue cheeses, some reserve extra sharp cheddar, some cheese sticks, and FUDGE! What fudge has to do with cheese, I have no idea other than it's made with milk and Tillamook makes it, so I just had to have some. We did learn some things from posters placed around the upper and lower levels while we were cheddar hunting.
It takes 1.16 gallons of milk to make one pound of cheese....the stainless steel vats in the factory hold 53,500 pounds of milk and one vat makes three batches of cheese daily...It takes a cow two gallons of water to make one gallon of milk...A Holstein's cow spots are like our fingerprints-no two are a like...There are 120 dairy farms in Tillamook County...The average Holstein eats 100 pounds of feed a day....About 50% of a dairy farmer's income goes back into feeding his cows. Wow! That's a lot!
Overall, it was a very pleasant visit to Tillamook today...We enjoyed the great variety of cheese samples, the gift shop and store were clean and bright and very attractively presented, and there is a great deli there, too. If you still need more cheese, there was another cheese factory just down the road from the Tillamook Cheese factory, and the Tillamook Air Museum housed in a rare WWII blimp hangar close by as well. Then, about ten miles west of Tillamook is the Cape Meares Lighthouse, so you can have a full day of things to do if you drive to Tillamook. The drive to these places is beautiful. The area is lush with thick forests and thick green pastures everywhere due to the high amount of rainfall that the coast gets. What a great drive! We'll see you at Cape Meares tomorrow.....