Cougar Gold cheese is produced by Washington State University's Creamery, which makes 250,000 cans of cheese every year, as of 2015. Cougar Gold accounts for 80 percent of the Creamery's production and is sold at Ferdinand's, in WSU bookstores and online.
Cougar Gold cheese gets its name from Norman Shirley Golding, a researcher credited in its development, and Butch, the cougar mascot of WSU. It was developed in the 1940s, when WSU sought funding from the US government to invent a way to keep cheese fresh in cans.
Cougar Gold cheese is aged up to one year prior to shipping or selling and has a distinct dry, crumbly texture and sharp flavor.