“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 …
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 …
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:
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 …
Washington may not yet have reached cheese heaven. But we're now well
past the purgatory of cheese sameness. And we have the WSU Creamery,
and Cougar Gold as a delicious standard, to thank for much of this
progress. » More ...
After a winter’s break, the goats at Rhonda Gothberg’s farm have kidded and their milk is rich and sweet. The soft French-style cheese she makes is delicious with just a nuance of that goat tang. Maybe it’s because the animals have added tender green grass to their diet, maybe it’s because it has been a long winter without fresh goat cheese, but “June chèvre is my favorite,” says Gothberg.
With a few acres in Skagit Valley, Gothberg is raising 29 milk goats for her farmstead cheese business. Early each the morning, just as the sun illuminates the shape of Chuckanut Mountain in the near distance … » More …