Washington State University is a foodie’s dream
written by Sheila G. Miller
Washington State University has a delicious secret—OK, maybe it’s not much of a secret, but it’s definitely delicious. Tucked away on campus is the Food Quality Building, which houses the WSU Creamery and its partner ice cream store, Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe. The ice cream shop opened in 1948 and serves more than a dozen flavors, including specialties like Apple Cup Crisp and Cougar Tracks. In addition to ice cream, students and faculty at the working creamery make Cougar Cheese, flavorful wheels that come in a can. The go-to is a white cheddar called Cougar Gold, but there are eight flavors for sale, ranging from smoky cheddar to hot pepper.
The cheesemakers also create limited releases each year. The milk for the dairy creations come from the university’s own dairy farm. A group of students, the Cooperative University Dairy Students (CUDS, get it?), raise and manage the dairy cows. The Marc P. Bates Observation Room is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Visitors are likely to see students and faculty making Ferdinand’s ice cream and Cougar Cheese. The observation room also has videos to show the cheese and ice cream-making process at the WSU Creamery, just in case no one is working. Don’t want to leave it to chance? Call ahead to find the production schedule. If you have a group of twelve or more, you can reserve the room for a specific day and time, then enjoy a hosted visit, cheese curd samples and discounted ice cream.