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Monday, January 18, 2010

Oregonzola: A perfect American interpretation of a European classic.


I've never thought of myself as someone who's particularly patriotic. Don't get me wrong, I love America and recognize I'm blessed to be a citizen, I just mean I've haven't spent much time thinking about my level of patriotism. I have relatives in the mid-west who are very clear on their loyalty to America. They won't buy anything, especially a car, that's not made in the US and the implication that anyone else, anywhere else in the world can do anything better than us is blasphemy. Fortunately they haven't disowned me for buying a Toyota Camry - they just chalk it up to the fact that I was raised, and continue to live in California, aka "the land of fruits and nuts."

I guess I've sort of bought into the idea that my immediate family is different from the rest of our family because we live in Cali and they live in Wisconsin. But since we purchased our cheese shop in 2007, I've been nurturing my growing passion for domestic artisanal and farmstead cheese, and it turns out I've got the same "patriotism gene" as the mid-western contingent of my family. At least where cheese is concerned. I'm totally convinced we make some of the best cheese in the world, and it would be impossible for you to dissuade me from this way of thinking. I guess now I understand how my uncle, Kevin, feels about Ford trucks.

I mean, when it comes to cheese not only are we producing some wonderful original cheeses like Barely Buzzed and Appalachian, but we're also reinterpreting some classic European cheeses in a way that really pays homage to the centuries-old cheesemaking traditions. A fine example of what I'm talking about is Oregonzola by Rogue Creamery. This Gorgonzola style cheese made right here in Oregon boasts a tart, fruity, yet creamy flavor with the classic light veining you associate with the Italian version. It's great for cooking (fondue, soups, etc) as well as by itself or paired with fruit, nuts, prosciutto, and a good Pinot Noir.

Pure and simple American perfection...

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