My Own Little Idaho

Sometimes weird things happen with food. Uncontrollable things that even if the most style-ly food stylist tried to do such a thing they would be hard pressed to recreate it. I’m not talking about The Holy (Glee’s Grilled Cheesus) or Nature (a twin fruit cherry – why do they always make me giggle?). I’m talking about that did NOT just happen, whoa, LOL food accidents. I’m talking about a piece of cheese I tried to cut but that broke off and ended up looking like the fine state of Idaho. Isn’t it cute!?

I love a happy accident. I grew up (mostly) in Seattle, Washington. It’s Husky country (University of Washington) but that doesn’t mean Wazzu (Washington State U.) over in Eastern Washington doesn’t make a mean cheese (they have an Ag School). Before I even knew I liked artisan cheese, I knew I liked this stuff. So, it’s canned cheese, but not like that canned cheese. There’s no nozzle. It’s just cheese that happens to be in a can. Cougar Gold (“CG” in my house) is like if an English Cheddar met Italian Parmesan and they had a perfect little Depression/Wartime cheese baby – La Dolce Cheesa. Little Coug needs to mature but it’s the 30s and The Great Depression has just ended and then it’s the 40s and there is war rationing, so our cheese baby needs to be stored in a can until maturity. (That’s not the official story, I’m taking liberties, clearly).

I live in the SF Bay Area now, there’s no dearth of good cheese, so my Golden State cohorts may think I’m goofy to request to have the cheese shipped in but to me there’s nothing quite like it. Even Seattle’s star chef Tom Douglas likes it enough to give it a big ol’ shout out on The Chew in November 2011. That made me happy. Love that show.

Seattleites can find it locally quite easily. But because the WSU Creamery ships, my wonderful parents were able to send me a three-pack for my Birthday last year. I couldn’t have been happier. It’s a bit of a bear to get out of the can, and the texture is crumbly. You can try but I don’t recommend this as a sandwich cheese. You try and cut it and it breaks apart. Whiiiiich brings me back to my little Idaho. Aint she cute?