WSU Creamery worker and cheese supervisor Johnny Parkins stirred 1,500 pounds of Cougar Gold cheese on the finishing table last week. This batch would produce about 800 cans of the popular cheese.
The packages in a Washington State University warehouse are addressed to distant cities in Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Missouri. There are consumer testimonials to the far-flung appeal of Cougar Gold.
The WSU Creamery will ship about 50,000 boxes of the crumbly, white cheddar and other Cougar-brand cheeses this holiday season. Some of the shipments are Christmas gifts for distant alumni, who yearn for a taste of the Palouse.
"Yesterday, it was a woman who graduated in '52, who's still ordering her Cougar Gold," said Andrea Hefte, an assistant in the WSU Creamery's call center, where 13 workers process phone and Internet orders.