tom sanders

Give a cheesy cheer to the holiday season with award-winning cheese-filled gift packs made by the Cal Poly creamery department.

The annual cheese sale will end Dec 9, but not if all the cheese is sold before then.

“Last year we needed to end the sale early because we sold out of cheese,” dairy science senior Christina Weststen said.

The cheese packs can be purchased online during the holiday season with specialty cheeses such as the San Luis Lace, a Cal Poly original Swiss cheese and hickory smoked cheeses of cheddar and gouda.

Other cheeses included in the package are Mustang Gouda, Chipotle Jack and Reduced Fat Lace.

“All of the cheeses are award-winning cheeses recognized by the American Cheese Society,” faculty adviser Nana Farkye said. “Reduced Fat Lace won first place.”

The gift packs range from $22 to $28 depending on type and size.

There are five choices of cheese packs including The Green and Gold Special, Smokey Pack and President’s Choice.

As one of the eight members involved in the annual enterprise project, Weststen says she’s been involved with the program for two years.

“Last year the enterprise project sold close to 1,000 boxes mainly to alumni and community members,” Weststen said.

Weststen says the money earned from the cheese sale goes back to raw materials and other expenses to make the cheese.

Since 1903, Cal Poly Creamery, located off of Highland Drive, has been making dairy products for the community, alumni and friends.

According to a press release, “Cal Poly’s dairy herd consists of 60 percent Jersey and 40 percent Holstein cows, a split that adds to the nutritional value and flavorful quality of the final product.”

Students in the enterprise project began the cheese-making process in January. They are responsible to create, wrap, sell and ship their cheeses out to customers.

“We know this is quality cheese because it’s handed-crafted, we know where the milk came from and we don’t rely on third parties,” Farkye said. “We know the ingredients going into the product.”

Different types of cheese need different time slots reserved for aging.

“The cheddar cheese ages for six months and the gouda cheese ages for three,” Weststen said.

The group also makes cheeses sold year-round at Campus Market, but makes its cheeses more available during the holiday season.

For more information or to place an order, visit www.calpolycheese.com.

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