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Exquisite artisan American family blue cheese, cheddar: Oregon's Rogue Creamery

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Oregon's Rogue Creamery has been family-owned for over 80 years. They've won international acclaim -- and rightly so! -- for their blue cheeses, including World's Best Blue Cheese at the 2003 World Cheese Awards in London, a first for a U.S. creamery.

Their long list of accomplishments also includes the coveted Best New Product Award as the World's first Smokey Blue at the National Association for the 2005 Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Food Show in New York and Rogue River Blue took Best in Show at the 2009 American Cheese Society in Austin Texas. They have garnered more than 4 trophies and 30 medals and awards. I was very happy to have been hosted to experience them!

Oregonzola is a great new American creation. Here's what they say about it:

A nod to Rogue Creamery’s Italian heritage, Oregonzola blue cheese was developed by Ignazio Vella in the late 1990’s. The smooth and yielding texture of the paste and clearly defined blue veins are reminiscent of the great Gorgonzola but the bouquet of fruit, sweet cream and tangy flavors set it apart as an American original.

The blue mold in this cheese was brought from Italy, and Oregonzola is the only cheese in the US using it.

Oregonzola is sweet and savory, and reminiscent of classic Italian blue cheese.

This is what I say about it: It's a blue cheese made with raw cow milk. The texture is like firm butter and the first mouth taste is very buttery. Then, come herby flavors. It goes really well with a sweet red wine and also, pears! Then, the salt flavor comes out.

Despite its name, Caveman Blue is a very sophisticated blue cheese. This is what they say about it:

Caveman Blue cheese is a rich, complex blue that is deliciously sweet and fruity with slight vanilla tones and a texture of butter and crystals. A rugged natural rind allows the Caveman to release a bit of moisture and develop a thick, buttery texture. During its maturation, luscious raw cow milk and blue cultures are transformed into a golden-hued paste which tastes of sweet, fresh buttermilk with nuances of beef and bacon, tropical fruit, grass and hay.

This is what I say about it: It's made from Food Alliance certified raw cow milk. It has some grassy notes, so you might be surprised that it's cow milk. It's creamy with some bit of crystalization, but it still slices well without crumbling. The flavors are bold, with some salt and sharpness. It has deeper, darker blue veins.

Blue Heaven is a very interesting food product: it's a proprietary blend of Oregon Blue, Oregonzola, Crater Lake Blue and their special reserve blue cheeses. This is what they say about it:

A medium blue spice, rich umami, subtle brazil nut and bacon, rich fruit and huckleberry flavors with a finish of brown butter and sweet cream.

This is what I say: You can use this shaker for so many creative culinary masterpieces! It's easy to make a compound butter with it, which is fantastic on a bone-in rib eye steak. If you don't wanna fuss, just sprinkle it on directly. You can sprinkle it on salads or hot vegetables.

Yet another interesting product to come out of Rogue Creamery: Chocolate Stout Cheddar! They flavor it with Rogue Ales’ Chocolate Stout. I paired it with a local beer to me, Full Tilt Brewing's Berger's, flavored like chocolate Berger cookies! That's a great pairing, by the way. Here's what they say about it:

Savory and tangy cheddar notes are tempered by the sweeter chocolate and coffee flavors of the stout.

Here's what I say about it: it's firm, buttery, with a bit of salt. You do notice some stout notes, some cocoa flavors.

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