Say Cheese

This fall Cal Poly introduced three new cheeses as part of a larger revisioning of the Cal Poly Creamery, which included the facility, equipment and products.

“For more than 20 years, the Cal Poly Creamery has produced the same variety of cheeses and dairy products,” said Creamery Operations Manager Tom Johnson. “They’ve served us well, but a lot has happened in those years. The success of the American artisan cheese industry changed the way we think about cheese. American cheesemakers are now making some of the most exciting cheeses in the world, and we think our students should be making some of these fantastic products too.”

The first new cheese out of the gate is Bella Montaña, a sweet cheddar-like cheese.

“You could call it ’modern cheddar’,” Johnson said. “We add special cultures during the process that remove bitter notes and accentuate the natural sweetness of the milk. The result is a complex cheese loaded with flavor, and it’s likely different from anything you’ve tasted before.”

Johnson also worked with Plant Manager Jennifer Pelayo to retool the Creamery’s Gouda recipe. The old version, Galloping Gouda, was replaced with Grand Gouda. “Each wheel is handcrafted, coated with a traditional yellow rind and aged on wooden boards,” Johnson said.

A third new cheese, Seven Sisters, is a higher-moisture melting cheese inspired by European classics such as Havarti. Produced using a “washed curd” recipe, the cheese has a delicate, soft-mouth feel and a mild, buttery flavor.

The Creamery’s students and staff are enthusiastic about the new products, but they are even more excited about what is to come, including the expansion into additional cheese categories, including bloomy rind (white mold), washed rind, and perhaps even blue cheeses.

“Early in 2019, we will install new climate control systems to our aging rooms, which will enable us to begin producing some truly original artisan cheeses,” Johnson said. “We have big plans for ice cream, too. Stay tuned!”

For more information or to order Cal Poly cheeses, please visit

Gift Boxes

Cal Poly Holiday Cheese and Wine Gift Boxes featuring student-made products are available now. To order from a selection of new cheeses and traditional favorites available in a variety of gift box arrangements, visit To order from a selection of wine gift sets, including student-made wine, paired with an assortment of Cal Poly chocolate and cheese, visit


Visit the Cultivate Fall 2018 Page to read more stories.

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