Celebrating National Cheese Lover's Day with Darigold - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Celebrating National Cheese Lover's Day with Darigold

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SUNNYSIDE, WA - It's National Cheese Lover's Day, and Reporter Caitlin Medearis went out to Darigold over in Sunnyside to learn how cheese is made, and how lovers of cheese can celebrate.

At Darigold, cheese is taken all the way from its milk state to the grocery store...by pasteurizing locally produced milk to start the cheese-making process, thickening cheese-milk in a vat, cutting it into curds and whey, and finally transferring it to a cheddering belt to bring it to cheese form in order to age.

Tom Rouleau, Technical Manager of Darigold, says there is a common misconception that there are only a few main cheese types, when in reality, there are hundreds.

"In the U.S., we generally think of Cheddar and Monterey Jack as American-style cheeses," he says, "and Mozzarella being Italian style, as well as Parmesan, Romano, you have Blue cheeses, there's Goudas, there's all kinds of different cheeses out there. And each one is made a little differently, but the basic process starts the same."

Rouleau says to celebrate Cheese Lover's Day, it's good to know what cheese works best with certain foods.

"You can start with, first of all, a grilled cheese sandwich, that's the perfect thing for this kind of weather, so you'll typically want to use a mild or medium Cheddar for something like that, because it'll melt well," Rouleau said. "As you start getting into aged cheeses, the flavor starts to come out, some of the melt characteristics aren't the same, but you can bring on some really strong flavors."

Rouleau says one of his favorite uses of Darigold cheese is to pair it with a local wine, or use it as a topping on some of his favorite foods.

Because as a true cheese lover, he says there's almost nothing you can't put cheese on to make it even better.