The Cheesiest Food Tour We've Ever Seen

We were scouring local farmers' markets this weekend for cheese curds (more on that another time) when we spotted a giant cheese on wheels. True, everything is better with cheese, but can you improve a classic '65 VW van by chopping it up and turning it into a rolling block of cheddar?

Loaf it or leave it: The Tillamook Cheese tour bus

​Apparently, yes. Every passerby at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market wanted a pic of the Tillamook Baby Loaf van.

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This cute culinary caravan is part of Tillamook Cheese's Loaf Love Tour, a 100-city jaunt

across the Western U.S. in celebration of the company's 100th anniversary. The tour started in Tucson and will continue up the coast and around the western states (including Illinois and Texas, ugh!) until November.

A handful of Tillamook girls dressed in matching orange tees and fresh-faced smiles, and their supervisor, are stuck driving around in the VW chop-shop special until then. Cute ride. Meeting new people. All the cheese you can eat. Not a bad gig, really.  

Tillamook's fresh-faced farm girls are a world away from the tight tank tops and heavy makeup of other food company street teams.
Now before you get all up and arms that Tillamook is not locally made and is even -- gasp! -- sold in supermarkets, this Oregon-based company is farmer-owned. The milk they use is from free range cows not treated with Bovine Growth Hormone (rBST). And the cheese is naturally aged, which means "you could put a loaf of our medium cheddar in the fridge for nine months and get a block of sharp cheddar," according to Tillamook rep Kristen. So we gotta send a little love their way for being successful without turning into some big-box, faceless corporation.

Phoenicians get in on the tasting action. Mmmmm....cheese.
​The Tillamook creamery is the number one tourist attraction in the state of Oregon, with over a million visitors a year. Not sure what that says for the state's zoos and parks, but hey, who wants to ride a stupid roller coaster or see a wild Bengal tiger when you can gorge yourself on cheese and ice cream. With those numbers, we're glad they're not located in Phoenix. We love Tillamook's cheddar, but Phoenix has enough branding problems without being known as "The Cheesiest Town in the Southwest." 

The Tillamook Loaf Love Tour will be in town through February 13. Catch them at local supermarkets over the next two weeks and again at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market on the 13th.  

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