Tillamook Cheese (plus, our cheese-shopping rules)

Our family has a few "rules" when it comes to cheese-shopping:

  1. We buy blocks rather than pre-grated. It's more affordable that way and tastes much fresher.
  2. We buy Tillamook, whenever possible. It's just plain better.

In Arizona, our local grocer carries Tillamook Medium Cheddar and Colby Jack in 2 lb. loaves. We would likely also buy Monterey Jack if it were available.

Tillamook Cheese (plus, our cheese-shopping rules) 1 Tillamook Cheese (plus, our cheese-shopping rules) 2 Tillamook Cheese (plus, our cheese-shopping rules) 3

The ingredient list seems pretty solid - with only four ingredients (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes, Anatto).

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Tillamook-branded ice cream. It's delicious...but it is also full of who-knows-what ingredients. Even if it were available in the Arizona market, I'd likely pass it over for Haagen-Dazs or homemade from our ice cream maker.

Tillamook Cheese (plus, our cheese-shopping rules) 4  Tillamook Cheese (plus, our cheese-shopping rules) 5

Have you ever had Tillamook cheese? If not, you can get free samples and fun prizes at a Tillamook Loaf Love tour stop in 2012 (coming to Tucson on the 25th and 26th of February!).

What brand of cheese do you buy and why? Do you look for certain ingredients on the label?

* Our family attended a VIP Tillamook party at the Phoenix Zoo with a select group of bloggers a few weeks ago. Super fun...even at 31weeks pregnant (31!).

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24 comments on “Tillamook Cheese (plus, our cheese-shopping rules)”

  1. I'm so glad you guys had a good time at the zoo! We're big fans of Tillamook, too. I do so wish they had an organic option...

    PS. I love Liv's expression in that profile shot.

  2. Tillamook is THE best. I always buy the loaves as well. As much as I hate to clean my cuisinart after shredding cheese, it is SO worth it. It has such a fresher texture and flavor. And I read that pre-shredded cheese has sawdust in it?! YUCK.

    Trader Joe's does have an amazing selection of cheeses, though I don't make it there super often.

    You DO look fab at 31 weeks! Congrats, and hopefully you're feeling well!!

    1. The sawdust thing is news to me! Ick. I'll add that to my "research" list...along with why cheese is dyed/colored in the U.S.

  3. We love Tillamook cheeses! Lately though we've been buying a grass-fed organic cheddar that we found at Trader Joe's, and goat cheese at the farmer's market.

      1. It's new to me so I'm just starting to figure it out. I've done a little of both. It melts wonderfully into a spinach quesadilla.

  4. I haven't heard of Tillamook but we are going to Costco tomorrow so I'll look. We live in Wisconsin and love our cheese!

    You look so good!!!! I can't believe the big day is almost here for you. Have you picked out a name? I'm 5 weeks behind you (due 5/9) and also expecting a little girl. Our son wanted a baby sister in the worst way, so I'm happy to oblige.

    1. No name yet. I have a list of favorites on my phone (Baby Names app), but Tim & I haven't chatted about it yet. Luckily, we have very similar "tastes" so I expect that the decision will be pretty painless. :)

  5. I'd never heard of Tillamook until we moved north. I haven't tried their cheese yet because I can't bring myself to pay almost three times the price. I've been working on planning a bit more in our food shopping and consumption so maybe with a little more work I'll be able to fit it into the budget. I have tried their ice cream and it reminds me of my home state's Blue Bell brand and I consider it almost the only edible brand of store bought ice cream available in our local stores. However, we are on a sugar moratorium right now in our house so we haven't had ice cream in awhile.

  6. I have started buying this cheese as well b/c of the ingredient list. It is a lot more expensive but is so worth it. The shorter the ingredient list the better.

  7. We LOVE Tillamook and usually buy it in the 2.5 lb loaf from Costco. Such a great price. I have never bought cheese sticks or string cheese. I just cut up our own cheese sticks from the loaf! Yum! We also love Trader Joe's for fancy cheeses at fantastic prices!

    Um...you are seriously the cutest 31 week pregnant gal ever. Teeny tiny! Beautiful! Hard to believe you only have 9is weeks left! Hope it goes so smoothly!

    1. I'm almost 33weeks now. Can't wait to get to know our third little girl.

      We haven't been to Trader Joe's in awhile. It's about 35min away from our house and the parking lot drives me crazy. That said, I do like the atmosphere there (Also - the samples, the zucchini bread, and the macaroni & cheese).

      1. Try the Trader Joe's at Grant/Swan. It's not much further and they have little shopping carts for the kids to use. The atmosphere is a lot more fun!

        PS: At Speedway/Wilmot, try parking in the back. :)

  8. I've never had Tillamook cheese, I wonder if it is not available up here? I LOVE cheese though and I love block cheese pretty much only! By the way, you look wonderful at 31 weeks pregnant!

    1. We had a hard time finding it in the eastern and midwestern states when we traveled the country. That said, you *may* be able to find it at your local Costco. Good luck!

  9. We love Tillamook cheese. NY has to have the extra sharp cheddar without dye (thus white in color) but I prefer mild cheddar...orange. ;D love Love LOVE your baby bump Stephanie!!! It's goo to see you!

  10. We pretty much only buy Tillamook too... although I wish they made mozzarella! ;)
    But we also buy their ice cream because it tastes so much better than others and... I know it's made with milk not treated with rBST. Haagen Dazs does not guarantee that their milk comes from cows not treated with rBST and that's really important to me too.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the [strange] fact that Tillamook doesn't make mozzarella. We would buy it if they made it.

      I'm going to contact Haagen-Daz about rBST and see what I can find out. Their FIVE line is my favorite - only five ingredients (all ones that I recognize) and oh-so-good.

      1. Let me know about Haagen Dazs. I'm going by a list I read somewhere (and wrote down) of the brands that don't guarantee it. But if you find out differently that would be great! The Safeway house brand (Lucerne) is supposed to be rBST free too. :)

        1. I'll let you know if Haagen-Dazs responds.

          Also - I agree about the TASTE of Tillamook ice cream. Much better than typical brands at the grocery store.

  11. Tillamook is my fave. I usually by my cheese from Trader Joes though because they have such amazing variety at really good prices. Sharp cheddar is my preference when i can find it. BTW, 31 weeks??? You look amazing!

    1. I must admit. That photo is a little deceiving. You should see my belly from the side! ;)

      That said, thank you so much for the compliment. I'll take it.

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