Are These the 10 Best Cheeses Made in the Northwest?

Portland’s annual cheese festival the Wedge brought together the best dairy products around. We picked our favorites!

By Katie Vaughan October 6, 2015

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Image: Katie Vaughan

On Saturday, October 3, the Oregon Cheese Guild hosted the annual Wedge cheese festival and gave Portlanders the chance to taste some of the foremost fromage in the PNW. Among the venders were some of the local winners from this year’s American Cheese Society Competition. But we didn’t let any blue ribbons blind us—we had to try them all for ourselves! Oh the sacrifices we make for you, dear readers. Find our favorites below.

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Image: Katie Vaughan

Glacier Blue (Cascadia Creamery, Trout Lake, WA) A gentle blue cheese hug. All the flavor and fungus blue fans crave, but so approachable it will convert the haters.  

Carena (Briar Rose Creamery, Dundee, OR) Complex, chocolately, briney—this cheese has it all, with a soft middle and weird crusty rind to boot. 

Classic Chevre (Briar Rose, Dundee, OR) Briar Rose doing what they do best. Creamy, tangy, just the right sweetness. Spread it on everything or just eat it with a spoon.

Midnight Moon (Cypress Grove Chevre, Arcata, CA): The aged goat cheese to rival any sharp cheddar, with tangy crystals, a strong start, and a sweet, tropical fruit finish.

Adelle (Ancient Heritage, Portland, OR): All hail the hometown hero! Melty dream cheese with tantalizing notes of butter, lemon, and grass. 

Caciotta (Ferndale Farmstead, Ferndale, WA) The cheese your Italian grandma would make (if you had an Italian grandma). Somewhere between fontina and mozzarella. Light, comforting, versatile.

Clothbound Cheddar (Face Rock Creamery, Bandon, OR) Sharp, nutty, buttery with the texture of Parmesan. The process is the clincher: wrapped in cheesecloth, dipped in melted butter, then aged for 13 months. It tastes as good as it sounds. 

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Caveman Blue (Rogue Creamery, Central Point, OR) Rich, slightly sweet, like generously buttered toast with a side of bacon. 

Queso Oaxaca (Ochoa Queseria, Albany, OR) Tangier, heartier, grown-up string cheese. Hand-stretched and sold in a big beautiful knot. 

The Original Cheddar (OSU Creamery, Corvallis, OR) Surprise, a bunch of food science nerds have created a go-to cheddar that is sharp and bold with a little nutty sweetness.

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