PULLMAN, Wash. – Cougar Gold, Washington State University’s signature cheese, earned a second place award in its category this summer in the 2008 American Cheese Society Competition.
WSU’s famous white, sharp cheddar cheese finished second in the American Originals category, cheeses that are considered American in their original forms, such as Monterey Jack, Brick Muenster and Colby.
This is probably the largest cheese competition in North America,” said Russ Salvadalena, manager of the WSU Creamery. “We’ve always done well on flavor, but because of our process, we’ve often been criticized for the texture. This year Cougar Gold scored well in both phases and was only one-half point behind the winning cheese in our class.”
The American Cheese Society is a non-profit trade organization that encourages understanding, appreciation and promotion of farmstead and natural specialty cheeses produced in the Americas and Canada. This year, 1,149 cheeses and dairy products from 181 producers from 30 states and three Canadian provinces were for judging in all categories.
Cougar Gold is a by-product of research conducted by WSU dairy scientist Norman S. Golding in the 1940’s. The cheese was named in his honor.