Winner Of ACS Cheese Contest
Whitney, a Raclette-style cheese made by Jasper Hill Farms, Greensboro Bend, Vermont, was named First Place Best of Show at the American Cheese Society’s (ACS) Annual Judging & Competition. The winners were announced July 21 during an award ceremony sponsored by Gourmet Foods International during the 39th Annual American Cheese Conference, “Blazing the Trail for Cheese.”
“I think that we’re at an inflection point in our industry,” says Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farms. “We’ve been through so much the past few years, and this for us (winning Best of Show) is just epic. It is our opportunity to push the boundaries in our market to win new consumers. I would call you all to that effort. I think that when we win consumers for specialty cheese, whether it’s a Whitney or any of the amazing cheeses that you produce, we all win and we can all win together.”
Two cheeses tied for Second Place Best of Show: Flagsheep, a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese of Seattle, and Bamboozle, a washed rind goat and cow’s milk cheese from Goat Rodeo Farm & Dairy of Allison Park, Pennsylvania. The Third Place Best of Show went to Greensward, a soft-ripened washed rind cheese from the collaboration of the Cellars at Jasper Hill and Murray’s Cheese of Long Island City, New York.
Judging for this year’s competition took place this past May in Minneapolis. Entries this year included 1,387 cheeses and cultured dairy products from 196 companies in 120 different categories. A total of 380 awards were given at the ceremony — 116 gold medals, 130 silver medals and 133 bronze medals among 136 organizations. Full results will run in next week’s issue of Cheese Market News.
The 2022 ACS conference, held July 20-23 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, was back in person after a three-year hiatus and welcomed more than 1,000 cheese professionals.
Conference-goers attended more than 30 educational sessions in various tracks, including climate change and sustainability, food safety, food science and research, and tasting sessions. A “Meet the Cheesemaker” event sponsored by Peterson Cheese gave attendees, retailers and distributors a chance to meet the people behind their favorite cheese and discover new products from more than 100 producers.
Outside of the convention center, ACS, along with valued sponsors, gave attendees the opportunity to experience the vibrant cheese scene in the Pacific Northwest with various events.
The Cheese Crawl featured four sponsor companies that took over four local Portland pubs for a night filled with cheese and fun. The Coopers Hall Stop, sponsored by Prairie Farms, featured the 50 Licks ice cream truck, raffles and a grazing table with their cheese and accoutrements. The Loyal Legion Stop, sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, provided samples of Wisconsin’s finest cheeses, and the Loyal Legion menu was taken over with Wisconsin cheeses during the entire week of the conference. At the Cascade Brewing Barrel House Stop, sponsor Caputo sampled its grilled cheese “sammiches” made from Caputo Fresh Mozzarella, Havarti, roasted turkey and pear mostarda from Quince and Apple. The Bar Casa Vale Stop, sponsored by Olympia Provisions, hosted a Spanish summer night complete with tapas, charcuterie, cheese, wood-fired meats and libations.
ACS marquee sponsor Tillamook hosted the Taste of Tillamook Welcome Reception, featuring delicacies from the Pacific Ocean, elevated recipes and pairings with Maker’s Reserve vintage Cheddars aged three to 10 years. Best of Oregon, sponsored by the Oregon Cheese Guild, was a celebration of all things that make Oregon delicious, including dishes made with Oregon cheese and local ingredients, bites from Oregon’s Cheesemonger Invitational winners and all types of libations from around the state.
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