In the late 1930s, the WSC Creamery wanted to find a new way to store cheese. Wax cracked easily and plastic hadn’t been invented. The only option left was cans. In the 1940s, the U.S. Government and the American Can Company funded WSC’s research into storing cheese in cans.
An unexpected product of this research was Cougar Gold, an American cheddar named after Dr. N.S. Golding, one of the researchers. The WSU Creamery continues to produce 250,000 cans of cheese a year, 80 percent of which are Cougar Gold. Cougar Gold has won multiple awards, including the World Cheese Awards Gold Medal in 2006 and makes great mac and cheese.
Find more Cougar history at https://timeline.wsu.edu/