Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Best of the blues
Published June 9, 2004
Editor's Note - This is the second of two stories
about the world's best blue cheese made at the Rogue
Creamery in Central Point using milk from the
Bonanza View Dairy. This week's story examines the
creamery's hand-milled cheese-making process.
by Lee Juillerat
The Rogue Creamery in
Central Point isn't much to look at. But it's here
that cheese makers, using traditional hand-milling
processes, have been producing exceptional cheeses
liked Rogue River Blue better than blue cheeses from
elsewhere in the world, including France, Spain,
England, Italy, Denmark and Australia. The decision,
based on taste, texture and aroma, marked the first
time an American blue cheese has won a world title.
"The quality of milk is
very important. We believe half the reason for our
excellent cheese is the milk from the DeJongs," says
Gremmels, referring to Elso and Arie DeJong. Elso
started the Bonanza View Dairy, while Arie has
overseen its operations the past two-plus decades.
Bryant and Gremmels
knew their cheeses were good, but the world title
came as a pleasant shock."
Rogue River Blue cheese
is based on a recipe that creamery founder Thomas
Vella retrieved from Roquefort, France, in 1956,
At the suggestion of a
friend, he and Bryant wrapped the cheese in grape
leaves from Rogue Valley vineyards that were
macerated with pear brandy made from Rogue Valley
picked pears and, "to our surprise it enhanced the
operations were later taken over by his son, Ignazio
"Ig," known as the "Godfather of Artisan Cheese."
Those traditions are
kept alive several days a week, when fresh milk from
the Bonanza View Dairy is pumped into either of two
vats. A 7,000 pound vat is used for blue cheese
while a 10,000 pound vat is for various cheddars.
When reduced, the smaller vat will produce 700
pounds of cheese, the larger 1,000 pounds.
The Rogue River Blue
has earned international recognition, but several
other Rogue Creamery cheeses have earned world,
national and regional honors. Their creamery's Pesto
Cheddars all won medals from the American Cheese
Society and other competitions.
Gremmels oversees the
marketing and sales, while Bryant monitors all
phases of cheese making.
Bryant and Gremmels
have watched the Rogue Creamery's reputation grow in
just two years, but they plan to follow a slower
pace when it comes to growing the size of their
The Rogue Creamery is located at 311 N. Front St. in Central Point. For information call (541) 665-1155 or toll-free at (866) 665-1155, or visit their Web site at www.RogueCreamery.com for an event calendar or to join their mailing list. An Artisan Cheese Club membership provides people with 1-1/2 pounds of cheese, a newsletter and recipes four times a month. Cheese tasting is offering during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday with free cheese and wine pairings Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2004, All Rights Reserved