Monthly Archives: February 2020

The Melt Down: Grilled Cheese Event Goes Bigger Than Ever

It’s a dream come true for fans of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, and it’s bigger and better than ever in 2020.

There’s a popular month-long event called “The Melt Down,” where sales of signature grilled cheese sandwiches throughout February support YCAP regional food bank efforts to fight hunger. This year’s “Deluxe Edition” includes 68 participating restaurants and businesses in Yamhill County and 13 sponsors. The restaurants are in a friendly competition for the title of the “Biggest Cheese.”

Each restaurant has their own unique take on the classic grilled cheese sandwich, many with clever names to match. Some examples include: Diet Starts Tomorrow, The Triple Texan, Play with your Food, Ooey Gooey Tomato Grilled Cheesy and Check Yo Self Before You Raclette Yo Self. While there are options for the strict grilled cheese purists, some other ingredients include peanut butter, jalapeños, pineapple, pesto, potatoes, marinara, brisket, avocado and quince chutney.

But how to decide with so many options to choose from? Easy. There’s a passport with details on the sandwiches available at each stop, including their address and business hours. Those who show their passports get stamps or signatures to make them eligible to win prizes donated by 40 area businesses.

Local restaurants in the community are also winners since the event generates increased business thanks to The Melt Down. “It is hard to believe that a small idea just a few years ago has grown into such a successful fundraiser and has provided a much needed economic boost to so many businesses here in Yamhill County,” said YCAP Development Specialist Diane Longaker.

In 2019, more than 6,280 sandwiches were sold, raising approximately $20,000. That equals more than 65,000 meals for the people served by YCAP and its food bank. Oregon dairy farmers and processors including Tillamook and Organic Valley are supporting The Melt Down: Deluxe Edition with hopes for record-setting results. You can help by ordering a grilled cheese from participating restaurants through February 29.

RELATED LINKS:

The 2020 Melt Down: Deluxe Edition

YCAP Regional Food Bank

Nine Reasons to Enjoy Real Milk in Your Handcrafted Coffee Drink

These days, there are a lot of choices when it comes to ordering barista-crafted beverages, and it isn’t just about flavored syrups. Most of that latte, mocha or cappuccino you enjoy is comprised of milk (or alternatives), and at $4 to $6 a cup it’s an investment that you want to get right.

As individuals, we certainly have our own choices, and there are plenty of reasons to proudly order real milk in your favorite coffee beverage. Here are nine of them:

1. Enjoy a Perfect Pairing

Many baristas prefer to use real milk for specialty coffee drinks. It has the right taste, creamy texture, and foams consistently when steamed because of its richness in protein.

2. Get Real

Milk has one of the cleanest labels around. What you see is what you get, so you know exactly what you’re drinking when you order real milk.

3. Consider the Footprint

About 90% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are from transportation, power generation, industry, commercial and residential. Yet U.S. dairy’s impact is estimated at just two percent, and dairy farmers just keep improving their practices.

4. Buy Local

On average, real milk travels less than 100 miles from cow to coffee shop.

5. Choose Sustainability

Dairy farmers are sustainable by nature. Their cows can eat food that humans can’t or don’t want to eat and upcycle it into milk. Farmers recycle water, use manure as natural fertilizer, regenerate their lands and some even generate renewable natural gas and electricity.

6. Boost Your Economy

The dairy industry provides jobs and pays for services that support families in our rural communities. Dairy processing jobs also pay higher on average than others in the food processing sector, and those wages are spent locally.

7. Drink Nutrients

Nutrient-dense milk is often called nature’s perfect beverage. It is packed with nine essential nutrients and is an especially good source of protein and calcium.

8. Support Cow Care

Dairy cows are well cared for. Farmers know that when they treat their cows well, the cows perform better. In addition to a nutritious diet and healthcare, many enjoy back scratchers, waterbeds, and climate-controlled shelters.

9. Save Money

Real milk is affordable and a great value.

Dairy farmers work 365 days a year (366 days in 2020) to bring milk and dairy products to your local coffee shops, grocery stores and kitchen tables. They take great pride in caring for their employees, animals and natural resources. So the next time you order a triple “mochalatteccino” or whatever your go-to order is, make sure you ask for real milk, and raise a toast to your local dairy farmers!