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Cougar Gold Tops Class in World-Wide Judging

PULLMAN, Wash. — Cougar Gold, the cheese in a can that’s making Washington State University famous, is expanding its reputation overseas.

Cougar Gold topped its class of 26 entries of hard-pressed non-cheddar cheeses in the World Cheese Awards 2000 contest held in Gillingham, Dorset, England.

Russ Salvadalena, WSU Creamery manager, said the WSU cheese came within one point of the competition’s highest award.

Cougar Gold received an average 17 points from a team of judges. Cheeses were evaluated by judges from France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Great Britain. One more point and Cougar Gold would have been classed as “perfect.”

But 17 points earned the WSU entry a Silver Award and was good enough to rate as the best in its class, Salvadalena said.

Other entries in the class won by Cougar Gold were a Swiss gruyere, Monterey jack from Ireland, a provolone from Italy, a Lawcych farmhouse cheese from Wales, a Leerdammer Maasdem from Holland, an Irish emmental, a French emmental, a Swiss emmental, a cheese loaf from South Africa, a colby from New Zealand, a reduced fat cheese from Scotland, and many cheeses made in England.

The WSU Creamery produces 135,000 cans of Cougar Gold and 45,000 cans of other cheeses each year.

Cougar Gold was developed at WSU during the 1940s and named after the principle researcher, N.S. Golding. It is a white gouda type cheese aged for at least a year. Although sold in 30-ounce cans, it has to be refrigerated.

Cougar Gold and nine other varieties of cheese are made by WSU students under the close supervision of professionals. All are sold in cans and shipped all over the world.

WSU cheeses can be ordered from the WSU Creamery by calling (800) 457 – 5442, or visiting the creamery’s Web site at with payment by credit card.

Christmas orders should be placed by Dec. 8.

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