I love cheese.
Were it not for cheese (and my first love, cake) I would be thin. It’s something I always tell people. And it’s true I think, were also not for pasta and carbohydrates and other things.
But right now, let’s blame the cheese. The wonderful, glorious cheese.
When Rand and I were in Oregon, late last month, we decided to finally visit the Rogue Creamery. Home of award-winning cheeses, Rand and I actually picked our wedding caterer based on her access to Rogue creamery’s award-winning blue cheese (the distribution list is supposedly very exclusive). Said caterer later proved to be bat-shit crazy (We should have known when we met her in the middle of a field in rural Oregon and she was wearing skintight black leather and stilettos) but she knew her cheese.
Unfortunately, our visit didn’t quite meet up to our long-standing expectations of what a creamery should be. I had pictured mountains of creamy blue, piled up high in a clean, brushed metal chamber. We’d press our noses against the glass and watch tiny little mechanical scoops pick up heaps of it and place it on a conveyor belt. The belt would carry the cheese throughout the creamery and through an elaborate packing process, but not before we were allowed to sneak a few pieces for ourselves. The entire scene would feature a soundtrack by OK Go. It would be magical.
Instead, we walked into a small building that, I can say with all due affection, reeked of cheese. There was a tiny storefront, some refrigerators full of cheese for purchase, and a small table full of samples (a privilege we proudly abused). There was a room of brushed stainless steal that we were able to look into through enormous glass windows, but very little was going on. Two guys were hosing something down. There were no mechanical scoops, no conveyor belt, no mountains of cheese.
But still, there was plenty to be excited about at the Rogue Creamery …
- We weren’t in our godawful hotel. No. We were in a quite part of town, blissfully free of dog hair.
- We managed to visit the creamery on the day that they’re famous award-winning blue cheese is finally on sale to the public. Before then it was only available to crazy restauranteurs and caterers (like the one we had for our wedding).
- They brilliantly anticipate that people will want to eat their cheese immediately. Consequently, they provide cheese-eating accoutrements, like bread, pears, salami, and even a tiny knife.
- They’re situated right next to a wine shop and tasting room.
- Picnic tables are conveniently located just outside the creamery. Unfortunately, the tables are wooden, and consequently not drool-proof.
- They have classes in all sorts of epicurean stuff, like Homebrewing Melomel Mead (that’s the kind made with fruit, as noted by these folks)
- BLUE CHEESE TRUFFLES.
Let’s revisit that last point again, shall we? I mentioned the blue cheese truffles briefly in my post about the wonderful parts of our Ashland trip. They are a rich, dark chocolate, rolled in hazelnuts, and honestly, if you didn’t know there was blue cheese in them, you’d never guess.
So Rand and I grabbed some cheese and snacks, parked ourselves at a picnic table, and enjoyed lunch.
It was quiet and peaceful and sunny. Occasionally a car or truck would pass, the only sound that interrupted the few crickets that kept us company. All in all, kind of lovely and romantic.
But I still want my damn blue cheese mountain.