Those of you who have been paying attention the last couple of weeks have probably noticed a proliferation of meals involving Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese. Normally, I would use La Fête du Fromage as an excuse to try something funky and new (although who needs an excuse, really?), but this time I’m going to wax rhapsodic about my favorite cheddar cheese.
Started in 1909 as a dairy farmers’ cooperative to ensure the continuing high quality of cheese produced in the region, the Tillamook County (Oregon) Creamery Association now includes over 100 dairy farmers and produces a gamut of dairy products from cheese to ice cream. Pretty much everything you could want to know about them can be found on their website. (And no, I am not a member of the fan club.)
The cheese itself, in case you are unfamiliar, has a firm, bordering on crumbly texture. It melts like a dream, and has a distinct tang to its robust, smooth cheddar flavor. It’s great for snacking as well as cooking. I’ve already made chili and macaroni and cheese with it, but this time I wanted a sandwich.
Specifically, a tuna melt. Using my standard tuna salad recipe (red onions, celery, and mayonnaise – no pickles) and some tasty bread from Du Pain et des Idées, I built a solid base for the thick slices of Tillamook. Into the pan the sandwiches went, with a thin smear of butter on the outsides of the bread.
And out they came, gooey and delicious as ever. Nick took about a million pictures of the beautiful cheese oozing out the side of the crispy, toasty sandwiches. And then we sat down to eat them while watching the Daily Show. It was a good night.
Don’t forget to stop by Chez Louloufor the Fête du Fromage roundup on the 15th!
Originally published on Croque-Camille.