Alternatives to Tillamook Cheddar?
Over the last 10 years, Tillamook Creamery has proved itself to be a very evil food processor. They bought out and shut down the Bandon cheesemakers, shipping production to Wisconsin (while still labeling it "Oregon Coast Cheese"). They tried to stop the city of Bandon from using it's name for non-cheese marketing. From a health perspective, the worst thing has been moving much of their actual milk production to Boardman, where they use confined non-pasture fed cows; there is no lush, rain and cloud nourished grass there.
None of this mattered before our kids got to a certain age; we didn't eat all that much cheddar, and didn't mind paying a premium for artisan stuff when we did. However, now we're going through quite a bit of medium-cheddar, and both cost and flavor have driven us back to Tillamook.
Does anyone know of any alternatives that are relatively affordable and made form pasture raised, grass fed milk cows?
Beecher's is great: http://www.beechershandmadecheese.com/shop_beecherscheeses.html
But relatively affordable??? HAHAHAHAHAHA!
Trader Joe's has a selection of cheddars that is good, but you have to be careful buying there. They also usually carry the Cabot's Extra Sharp, which is very good.
And, you have to love the Trader Joe's song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdB7GD...
I'd be fine with 2x the price, it is 3-4x that is the problem (and the norm). Tillamook didn't raise prices when they switched to industrial production, and Bandon used to be competitive, back when it was independent and from Bandon (it is now Wisconsin). So, it seems like decent prices with mostly pasture fed cows should be possible, if a bit less profitable.