Instructions for Cheese Guides

The Tillamook Cheese¬†factory used to offer guided tours along with cheese samples and sales of products. Daughters of the cooperative’s members held these jobs. They wore white dresses. They led visitors through the factory, walking among the vats, through the storage room and even onto the back dock. A 1950s instruction manual for the guides said:

“We want to make our guided tour as friendly and informal as possible in order that the trip will seem pleasant to everyone and not have them feel they have been subjected to a regular canned talk. For this reason and also due to the fact that we are bothered with noise in so many parts of the plant, we believe it would be sufficient for you to take the people through giving them as much time as they like at the various operations and point to signs for the majority of their information, and then to stop at one place along the line for them to ask questions and to give them the various information about our products that we would like to have you give.

As you go through the making room and need to give some word of explanation as to what is going on at the various vats, we would suggest just these brief explanations. If someone does ask a question further, you can answer them to the best of your ability. Our explanations for various operations in the vats would be as follows:

This is fresh milk with lactic culture, rennet and color added. The rennet causes coagulation.

This is the cutting of the curds.

This is the cooking of the curds in whey.

This is the process of draining the whey from the curds.

This is the cheddaring of the cheese.

This is the milling of the curds.

This is the salting. This is the hooping of the curds into the various sizes that we make.

We believe that when you get to the back dock, the first thing would be to ask if there are any questions. Then, stress the fact that the quality of Tillamook Cheese has been developed over a period of fifty (50) years of effort on the part of our producers and the fact that we have our own inspection system that goes beyond any of the requirements of the law. The fact that the milk is produced closely adjacent to the factory in order that it can be delivered to the factory early in the day and start right on its way into cheese is important. In Tillamook our conditions are ideal for this. *It is quite generally conceded in the dairy industry that Tillamook County has as fine a milk supply as can be found anywhere in the United States.*

*It is important to state that, all Tillamook Cheese is made from milk produced by our 750 member farmers under our own inspection and is aged in our own curing rooms. These are the reasons why Tillamook Cheese is always consistent in flavor every time you buy it.* Cheese developes more flavor as it is aged and we are now marketing our cheese consistently in two flavors, both the medium aged flavor and in a well aged or sharper flavor from nine months to a year old. We want the customers to choose the age they prefer and then always buy that same age in order to have consistently the same flavor.

The coloring used in our cheese is a vegetable coloring extracted from seed of the Anatto Tree, which is grown in the tropics and is fully approved by all Federal and State authorities and *is not a coal tar product.*

You could explain that Tillamook is a cheddar cheese and that the cheddaring process takes a longer time than is used in making any other kind of cheese and it is that process where the curd is kept warm and draining in order to drain away more whey and make a drier cheese. This makes cheddar cheese a longer keeping cheese, developing a characteristic flavor and makes cheddar cheese good for cooking.

Any milk failing to meet our grade requirements is rejected and any cheese which fails to make our requirements is immediately sold to processors and is not marketed under the Tillamook label.

Above all, show hospitality and friendliness and at the end of the tour express your appreciation to the people for taking time to visit our plant. Also, invite them to come again.

Any questions that you get from time to time that you do not have the answer for, please refer them to whoever is in charge of the sales office for a proper answer.

We have underlined the wording that we feel is especially important. While we do not want you to develop a memorized statement and want you to keep on an informal and friendly basis with the tourists as much as possible, we do want you to state these underlined sentences (NOTE: In this version, the sentences are marked with asterisks before/after) exactly as they are written as we have given a good deal of thought and believe these are stated in the very best possible way.”