Welcome to Tillamook Cheese HQ!
Our Tour Guide
He's been working for Tillamook for 44 years.
Here's the basic gist of how cheese is produced here: first, the milk is heated up to 88-degrees then a coagulant is added to give it that "bowl of Jell-O" texture. All of the whey is pushed out and drained, salt is added, and the curds get pressed together to form 42-pound blocks of cheese. (That's a very basic gist.)
Once the curds are formed into 42-pound blocks, they are sent to the back warehouse to chill out. Depending on the desired sharpness, the cheese could be here anywhere from two to 60 months (the longer they chill, the sharper the results). This is 14 floors of cheese, stacked all the way up!
Shrink-wrapped and ready
167,000 pounds of cheese is produced here each day!
Scraps of cheese head to the shredder.
HEY IT'S MORE CHEESE
There's a cheese market inside the factory where you can buy basically anything Tillamook makes.
Cheese on a Belt
This is the view from inside the factory, where visitors can watch the conveyer belts in action. On the day of our visit, they were packaging Pepper Jack and a 7.5-month-aged cheddar.
Medium, Sharp, Extra...
Loaf Love Tour Bus
You can't leave without snapping a photo inside the cheddar-colored Volkswagon Loaf Bus. As part of the "Loaf Love Tour," they drive around the country in these buses handing out cheese samples.
Note: in Tilamookspeak, a "block" of cheese is called a "loaf."