Food Lover's Guide to Portland

The Food Lover's Guide to Cheese

A cracker is downright useless without a gob of Gouda or a bite of Bleu. Pacific Northwest Cheese Project founder Tami Parr takes us a-whey!

By Kasey Cordell August 23, 2012 Published in the September 2012 issue of Portland Monthly

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GUIDE: Tami Parr

Dairy Queen

The author and Pacific Northwest Cheese Project founder assembles the perfect Oregon cheese plate. 

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Image: Michael Novak

1. Rogue Creamery Oregon Bleu (Central Point)

The original recipe that’s been used since 1957

Tasting notes: Balanced, with a slightly peppery taste. This gentle bleu is a great introduction for those skeptical of stronger cheeses. 
Pair with: Anything sweet. Try drizzling honey over it and serving it with crackers and medium-bodied red wines like merlots or syrahs. 

2. Tumalo Farms Classico (Bend)

A Dutch gouda-style goat cheese from Oregon’s largest goat farm 

Tasting notesCreamy and full of depth. When aged, a lovely butterscotch flavor develops. 
Pair with: Lighter beers like lagers or pale ales, like Deschutes Brewery’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale.

3. River’s Edge Sunset Bay (Logsden) 

A signature goat cheese with stripes of paprika

Tasting notesAn earthy, mushroomy rind encases a light, fluffy, salty flavor hit.  
Pair with: Something with more body and intensity. Think brandy or a brown or red beer. 

4. Ancient Heritage Adelle (Madras)

A soft-ripened cheese made from both cow’s and sheep’s milk 

Tasting notes: Earthy, creamy, and rich. At its peak, you’ll detect a hint of sweet pasture grass. 
Pair with: Fresh apples or pears and light wines like sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio

5. Willamette Valley Cheese Company Perrydale (Salem)

A blend of cow’s and sheep’s milk

Tasting notes: Hearty and satisfying, with nutty caramel flavors that improve with age 
Pair withYour favorite bread for an upscale grilled cheese, or serve with fig jam, caramelized onions, and toasted hazelnuts. Eat with darker red wines or hefty whites like chardonnays and viogniers. 

How To: Get A-Whey! 

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Turn your foodie obsession into a cheese-themed vacation. 

Transform your cheese cravings into cheese creations at Monteillet Fromagerie in Dayton, Washington. Tucked within the amber-hued hills of Walla Walla wine country, this 10-year-old goat and sheep farm offers one- and two-day courses in cheesemaking. Learn to make mozzarella, ricotta, or even Tomme by day, then retreat to your quaint three-bedroom gîte (holiday house) at night, where the spoils from your day’s work pair perfectly with a Walla Walla syrah on the banks of the Touchet River. From $200 

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