With Christmas fast approaching and shopping days running short, it’s time once again to do a local holiday gift guide, presenting a variety of locally-made products and local stores and shops to hopefully give you a number of ideas for your shopping needs.
One type of store I’ve always felt that Bend is sorely lacking is a cheesemonger, but the situation has gotten better in recent years, with Whole Foods, Newport Avenue Market, Trader Joe’s, and more of the specialty markets offering a nice variety of cheeses. Yes, cheese can make a great gift!
Even better, we have two local cheesemakers that offer up a variety of locally-made artisan cheeses from goat milk: if you’re going to give cheese as a gift, or as part of a gift basket for instance, you should make it local.
Based in Tumalo and started in 2004, their line of semi-hard cheeses can be found at most of the local grocery stores that offer a substantial cheese cooler and you can also shop online. Their online store features collections and packages such as the Christmas Collection (pictured above) which has:
Enjoy three cheese wedges (approximately 3 lbs total) that includes Classico Reserve, cave aged for over a year and not available at any cheese shops, Fenacho, Rimrocker, six hand-crafted chocolates from a Central Oregon chocolatier, and a collection of Oregon hazelnuts.
Tumalo Farms also makes a beer-infused cheese, Pondhopper, made with Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewery.
Based in Redmond, you won’t find Juniper Grove’s goat milk cheeses at any of the local stores—instead, you’ll need to visit their location in Redmond directly (since the Farmers Market is out of season). They have a nice variety of firm and softer (“surface ripened”) cheeses listed here (with prices); those include some amazingly delicious-sounding cheeses, including those made with a variety of spices, gruyère, feta, and various mold-ripened cheeses. For example:
Thor’s Special Smoked Crottin®
5 oz. 7.50
A young chèvre that we smoke over maple wood; our dense hand-ladled cheese takes on a delicate and perfectly complimentary light bronze exterior.
Thanks to reader comments I know of a welcome third addition to locally-produced cheeses in Cada Dia Cheese out of Prineville!
They primarily offer cow’s milk cheeses: regular and herbed cheddar, Christmas cheese through February (cheddar with red pepper flakes and green chive), and cow milk feta. Check out their “buy” page to see a list of places in town they’re available at, or for directions on purchasing online.
These are sure to be appreciate by your favorite cheese lover!