“When I get introduced to people for the first time and I tell them I make Cougar Gold cheese, they don’t believe me,” says Sarah Beale, head cheesemaker at WSU Creamery. “It’s kind of fun. Especially locally, everyone knows Cougar Gold.”
Beale has managed WSU’s day-to-day cheese-making operations for three years. One of the most difficult parts of the job: training and scheduling the approximately 40 student employees.
“Scheduling is crazy,” Beale says. “If we’re doing a double-batch day, a cheesemaker and pasteurizer need to be here by 3:45 a.m. on Mondays and 4:45 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The rest come in … » More …
Meet more of Washington state’s small farmers here — from the godmother of the modern small farms movement to the owner and operator of a 100-percent grass-fed dairy and more.
Read about small farmers and WSU support.
Lora Lea Misterly
Quillisascut Farm, Rice
Lora Lea Misterly was a 4-H kid. Growing up on a small farm near Leavenworth, she raised dairy calves and livestock … » More …
Mary Ann Drake ’96 PhD and the North Carolina State University Sensory Service Center produced this cheese flavor wheel, as well as a more specific cheddar cheese lexicon.» More ...
Much of Carolyn Ross’s work involves training people to quantify their taste. The sensory evaluation panels that she and her graduate students organize assess taste attributes in fruit and other foods and beverages such as sweetness, acidity, bitterness, and astringency. And “mouth feel,” which contributes enormously to the taste experience.
But for these panels to arrive at a consensus of, say, how sweet a given apple is, or how tart, or how much it crunches in relation to other apples, everyone must agree on the intensity of those attributes.
Before the panel members can evaluate a given food, they will train for a number of … » More …
“The heartbeat is the basis of rhythm.”
For 40 years, Washington State University alumnus John Elwood has followed that beat to create music and instruments.
Making something from nothing, to share with others, is his delight, he said. He carves wood into a variety of instruments. He also makes “canjos”—a take-off of a banjo made from string, a solid wood neck and a can. The can from Cougar Gold—a cheese made at the WSU Pullman creamery—is a local favorite.
To learn more about Elwood, his music and the canjo, watch the video:
… » More …
John Elwood, a maker of fine musical instruments and a 2001 graduate of Washington State University, crafts banjos from WSU cheese cans (like the iconic Cougar Gold).
Watch John play his “canjo” below and read more about his work.
Cougar fight song played on the canjo:
“Shortnin’ bread” played on the canjo (listen for the lyrical twist):
In addition to canjos, John plays folk music and creates whimsical and beautiful instruments like the goblin dulcimer in the … » More …
You’ve enjoyed the cheese, but what do you do with a Cougar Gold can?
John Elwood ’01 builds fine stringed instruments—dulcimers, mandolins, banjos, harpsichords— so using the iconic tin Cougar Gold can to craft a banjo seemed a logical choice. The Palouse-area resident created a canjo, a fretless, tunable instrument for all ages.
“These are three-string, robust instruments, have the scale dimensions of a violin, and are inexplicably pleasant to the ear,” says Elwood. “I blame it on the excellence of the cheese.”
His affection for WSU’s signature cheddar developed early as he helped his father, Lewis Elwood ’65, clean … » More …