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Beavers launch new artisan cheese

The hippest hosts are ordering now to ensure they have it on their party buffets


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Sstudents Ally Cooper and Tyler Linscott wash the rinds of the Beaver Classic cheeses during aging, a process that was done three times each week.Great news from the Beavers at Oregon State University. Just last week the students at the school’s Food Science and Technology department launched sales of Beaver Classic, a new artisan cheese made in an on-campus creamery. This is the university’s first venture into branded sales of student-made food products.

Beaver Classic is described as an alpine-style cheese. It is made using milk from the university’s dairy herd, according to Lisbeth Goddick, an OSU Extension specialist who works with food entrepreneurs around the world to create artisan cheese.

“The cheese is in the tradition of alpine cheeses made in Switzerland, Italy and France,” she said. “It has a subtle, nutty taste with creamy, buttery and caramelized flavors.”

“This is one of those products that we’re ready for prime time now,” said Bob McGorrin, who is head of the Department of Food Science & Technology. “It’s taken a little bit of time for the cheese to be developed and students have been involved in all stages of the process. It’s been a really good learning opportunity for them to get some professional experience as well as to be versed in their education.”

McGorrin said students worked in all stages of production, starting with the milk, taking it through the curd process and aging the cheese for six months.

“The tagline on the student-designed product label is ‘Savor Education,’ which reflects the ability to enjoy the end result of a successfully designed, produced and aged dairy product,” said McGorrin.

Goddick, McGorrin and Marc Bates made up the faculty management and production team that helped coordinate the launch of Beaver Classic. Bates is a new faculty member at OSU who assisted with production startup.

Ever eaten Cougar Gold, the delicious cheddar developed by students at Washington State University? Bates previously oversaw that venture; that ought to tell you something about the treat we are in for when we eat Beaver Classic.

Can you think of anything more delicious to share at your next gathering of friends and family? I am sure the hippest hosts will be featuring Beaver Classic on their tables.

You can buy Beaver Classic at OSU home football games or online at oregonstate.edu/main/cheese. Cost is $10 per 5.3 ounce wedge.

Shipping is a flat $9.95 per box for up to three wedges or $15.95 for up to 10 wedges or five gift packs. Get to know the flavor of Beaver Classic by serving it with apple and pear slices, crackers and breads. But take advantage of its nutty flavor by cooking with it, too. Today’s recipe is for a macaroni and cheese, using Beaver Classic.

Bon Appetit! Eat something wonderful!

Beaver Classic Mac and Cheese with Chard

Makes 10 to 12 servings

6 tablespoons butter, divided

1 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

3 cups reduced-fat milk

4 cups packed coarsely grated Beaver Classic cheese, plus 1/2 cup finely grated for top (about 20 ounces total)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems and center ribs removed

12 ounces elbow macaroni

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless sourdough bread

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, then flour; stir constantly 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in milk. Cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups coarsely grated Beaver Classic. Stir until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Stir in cayenne and nutmeg. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer chard to plate; cool. Reserve pot with water. Squeeze water from chard and chop finely.

Return water in pot to boil. Add macaroni, cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Stir macaroni into warm cheese sauce. Place half the macaroni in baking dish, smooth top. Top with 1 cup cheese and chard. Top with remaining macaroni mixture and spread evenly.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter. Place breadcrumbs in medium bowl. Drizzle butter over crumbs and toss. Add 1/2 cup finely grated cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over mac and cheese, sprinkle with cumin seeds if using.

Bake mac and cheese until breadcrumbs are golden and the edges are bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext.101 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




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