One of the Christmas gifts that arrived at our door in December came from some very dear friends who live in Washington State. It was addressed to us, Jeanne and Curt and to another couple from our Food Group. Since this was sent from former Food Groupies we had a suspicion it might be food and maybe perishable so we opened it immediately. No really, we just wanted to know what was inside and ripped it open as fast as we could.
It was food but it was not perishable, not at all. It was cheese in a can. Cougar Gold from Washington State University.
Stamped on the lid was the note “MADE BY NATALIE OCTOBER 27, 2009.” This was when the cheese began its aging process. Along with the can was a little brochure with all the other vital information. This was made by a Washington State University student at WSU, of course, which has its own dairy and creamery. Instructions told us to refrigerate immediately and that unopened cans of Cougar cheese last indefinitely. Some customers have aged the cheese for over 30 years. Ha! that wouldn’t be happening in this house.
First thing we did was take pictures and send them to the other recipients along with an invitation to dinner at our house where we would have a ceremonial cutting of the cheese. And that’s what happened this past Tuesday.
After close inspection of the can by our friends, Curt took can opener in hand.
Don’t you just love ceremony? We expected the cheese to be soft but it was firm and smelled great. It even looked great.
Once we had it out of the can it took a few seconds to cut it in half and we all started slicing off hunks and bits, popping them in our mouths. Its a firm white aged cheddar that reminded us of a favorite cheese called Bella Vitano.
The verdict? Thumbs up!!
So if you get the urge for some good cheese and want to support some budding cheesemakers, order a can of cheese from WSU. Since I am writing this from Wisconsin I feel obligated to mention that you can also get great cheese from the University of Wisconsin Dairy Store, it just doesn’t come in a can.