Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Tillamook Cheese Factory, a Tasty Visit!

 Located a short way from our RV site was the Tillamook Cheese factory, where they make excellent cheese and offer factory tours.

We learned that Tillamook Creamery had celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2009 and were interested to see what the tour might offer. 
 First, Orinda had to do some delivery of cheese in the official Baby Cheese Loaf vehicle, an early 60's VW bus. Rick was delighted to see this since he actually owned a '60 VW Bus back in the day!

The VW bus differs dramatically with the early modes of cheese delivery -- such as the Morning Star, Tillamook's own sailing vessel that delivered cheese on the Oregon coast. This made quite a bit of sense, since roads literally did not exist in the area at that time. 

 Of course, to make cheese and dairy products, you need happy cows! Here, Orinda checks out how it feels to be a member of the Tillamook  herd. Looks pretty happy, too!

The making of cheese starts here as the milk is transformed into cheese curds, which are the raw materials of cheese making. The cheese is then aged and developed into the many different varieties that Tillamook offers. 

 The finished cheese is then packaged in several different sizes on this interesting packing line. The cheese starts in very large blocks and then is cut to the finished size, inspected and sent to the packaging area via conveyor belts.

This is the final stage where the cheese is packaged and readied for its trip to the grocery store. You can see the final packages on the conveyor systems to the left of the picture. 

At the conclusion of our tour, we came to the best part of the visit -- samples! Tillamook offers all kinds of cheese samples and we enjoyed trying all the different cheeses -- although, that meant that we then wanted to buy several of the cheeses as well! This is a fun and informative tour which we enjoyed. 

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