Thom and I did a weekend trip down to Southern Oregon, and stopped at the Rogue Creamery in Central Point. The Creamery has been making cheeses since the 1930s and is now very well-known for its blue cheeses, especially the Rogue River Blue which has won a number of awards and is wrapped in grape leaves and aged for 1 year.
Central Point is a small town in the Rogue River Valley in a part of Oregon that is generally sunnier and warmer than where we live in Portland. Along the Rogue River Valley Highway, also known as Highway 99 and known in Central Point as Front Street, is a very unassuming concrete building which houses the Creamery cheese shop and part of their manufacturing facility.
The cozy little cheese shop has samples of all their signature cheeses. I tried several of their cheddars, a few of their blues and also some of their flavored cheddars including lavendar, garlic and chocolate stout. I was really taken with that last one and we picked up some of that.
They also have a cheese case with cheeses from around the region and the very knowledgeable and friendly cheese ladies gave us samples of anything we wanted. From the cheese case we ended up selecting PondHopper, a cheese from Tumalo Farms in Bend which is a hard, aged goat cheese, unique for the hops that are added while steeping the curds. We also picked up Truffle Tremor from Cypress Grove, another goat cheese (I have a problem) — creamy and infused with the taste of truffles.
In looking at all the cheeses, chatting with the ladies, choosing some pear wine and some crackers and debating the merits of purchasing an insulated bag (we did), we totally forgot to swing back around and pick up some butter!
Doesn’t that look like the most wonderful butter in the whole world? I guess we’ll have to go back.
Check out a few more photos of the cheese shop on my flickr. You will find Rogue Creamery cheeses in reputable cheese shops all over Oregon, at Whole Foods, New Seasons, etc. and on their website which also has some great photos of their cheesemaking process.