Last Bite: Learn Local History Through Cheese

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One of the most fascinating books to cross our desks this year is Tami Parr’s Pacific Northwest Cheese, A History. Like the magic of turning milk into curds and whey, Parr’s book transforms the story of local cheese-making into a deep exploration of our region’s history since European colonization. It’s a thrilling read. From Hudson’s Bay Company’s cheddar to butter churned by Oregon Trail pioneers, from the goat’s milk cheeses that sprang up in the wake of the discovery that cow’s milk contributed to spreading Tuberculosis to today’s wellspring of artisan craft cheeses, every chapter sheds new light on the culture we live in today.

LISTEN: On our podcast, Tami Parr tells the story of encountering a bear rabid for chèvre, shares her favorite moments in Pacific Northwest cheese history, and recommends which local cheese-makers to seek out today! Free from iTunes and at

Lucinda Collins Fares awaits the cows that come to be milked when she calls them by name. In the 1850s, Lucinda was the first white woman to settle in the Snoqualmie Valley near present-day North Bend. She and her husband Joseph Fares were famous for their butter. Photo courtesy of Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum.

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