We recently visited the state of Oregon on vacation. One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to cheese companies in Tillamook. Tillamook region is famous for its milk and cheeses. One of the companies, Blue Heron, makes French cheeses mainly Brie and blue cheese. I liked the taste of their garlic brie and so I have bought some home with me. The company's shop has some great gourmet sauces, salsas and mixes. I found a meyer lemon spritz oil. I have never tasted a meyer lemon and so I had to get it at a steep price, I must say. They have a lot of European chocolates too. I found Violet Crumble, something that was brought to my notice by Nic of Baking Sheet. Cadbury's Double Decker bar was my childhood favorite and after years of searching for it, I found it here.
Tillamook cheese company is quite famous around Oregon for not only its milk and butter but also for the rich ice creams and several varieties of Cheddar cheese. Yes, we did a lot of tasting but I was particularly impressed by their cheese curds. They taste great and are more on the chewy side. In Canada, McDonalds serves their French fries with these cheese curds (the combo is sold as poutine). Many customers seem to enter the premises only for buying ice cream. So we treated ourselves with a scoop. Their prize-winning classic vanilla was too rich and buttery for my taste buds.
We also got to taste some fresh apples and peaches from the orchards in the Mt. Hood's famous fruit loop. I searched quite a bit for hazelnuts but did not find them in local grocery stores. Perhaps I had to look elsewhere?
Crater lake national park at dusk
I had made a list of restaurants that I wanted to visit in Oregon based on Portland food forum. It turned out that I was being way too optimistic since we could hardly find time to search for a particular restaurant in the city especially with a toddler on hand. I managed to visit Karam, a small, Lebanese restaurant in Portland Downtown. We chose the vegetarian mazzawat and it was more than enough for me and hubby. It consisted of some great baba ghannouj, hummus, labne, vegetarian kibbee (it was not so great), stuffed grape leaves, crispy falafel, tabbouli and a garbanzo bean salad with a yogurt dressing. The star of this feast was the warm,fresh, soft pita bread made on-site.
Thanks to ExtraMSG for putting together the restaurant tip sheet. Be sure to check out this site if you will be anywhere near Oregon.