PULLMAN, Wash. — Cougar Gold, Washington State University’s famous white, sharp cheddar cheese, has earned another honor: a silver medal in the open class judging of hard cheeses at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.
The biennial contest is sponsored by the Wisconsin Cheese Association.
Eighteen hard cheeses were judged in the open class. A total of 513 cheeses and butters from 22 states were entered in the championship.
The award was presented Thursday at the closing banquet of the Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference in Green Bay, Wis. Also honored was Jacob Fouts, the student cheese maker who produced the batch of Cougar Gold judged in the contest. Fouts, a senior majoring in construction management, is from Olympia.
Marc Bates, manager of the WSU Creamery, was one of a dozen experts in cheese evaluation from all around the United States selected to judge this year’s contest. He did not judge the category in which Cougar Gold was entered.
Cougar Gold is a by-product of research conducted at the creamery during the 1940’s to develop cheese products that did not develop gas. Gas caused storage cans to bulge.
Cougar Gold was named in honor of N.S. Golding who was involved in the research.
The creamery produces about 160,000 cans of cheese each year. About 75 percent is Cougar Gold.
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