Tillamook, Oregon Attractions
The foundation of Tillamook's cheese industry began in 1894 with T.S. Townsend and the production of cheddar cheese. The original cheddar recipe, which was brought to Tillamook by Canadian cheesemaker Peter McIntosh, is still being used today by the Tillamook County Creamery Association, a farmer-owned cooperative of dairies. Cheese making involves producing curds, binding them together, and then pressing and aging them. The Tillamook 'Cheese Factory' is actually the processing plant for the Tillamook County Creamery Association. The Factory has become a huge tourist attraction with over one million visitors every year. As Oregon's second most popular tourist attraction, the Factory is usually packed on weekends, especially in the spring and summer months.
The current Factory was built in 1949. The facility itself is large, airy and spotless. A reproduction of the Morning Star, the 1894 boat used originally for shipping and trading in Portland and Astoria is displayed on the Factory's front lawn. Visitors may tour the facilities and observe parts of the cheese-making process.
The main observatory looks down on white-clad workers moving between automated equipment and conveyor belts, cutting and packaging the cheese. The lower level features large panels depicting parts of Tillamook's history as well as videos that show how the cheese is created and processed. Additional information detailing the factory's collaboration with a Rabbi from Los Angeles in creating a kosher product is also on the lower level. On the main level of the facility, free samples, a very full ice-cream bar, the Farmhouse Café, and gift and gourmet shops with many food items including preserves, popcorn, honey and taffy are all offered.
The County Creamery Association is proud of the fact that their cows are not supplemented with the bovine growth hormone rBST. The farmers offer milk from a variety of breeds, such as Jerseys, Guernseys and Brown Swiss, but the Holstein-Friesian breed is the most popular. The cheese is aged naturally to produce a variety of cheddars, including Medium, Sharp, Extra Sharp, Vintage White, and Smoked. Mozzarella and Colby, as well as three jacks – Monterey, Colby and Pepper, are also made on site. Cheese is not their only product. Tillamook ice cream, butter, sour cream, yogurt and yogurt smoothies are also available.
|Tillamook Cheese Factory
4175 Highway 101 North
Tillamook, OR 97141