The 30th annual Academy of Cheese awards — technically the American Cheese Society Judging & Competition Awards, took place last night in Providence, Rhode Island. There were 355 ribbons awarded to the best of 1,779 cheeses entered from producers in North and South America. For the first time in competition history, the winner was a Canadian cheese.
Congratulations to Glengarry Fine Cheese of Ontario, Best of Show recipient for their Celtic Blue Reserve!
There were two first runners-up (second place), both from Wisconsin:
LaClare Farms Standard Market Cave Aged Chandoka, a New Zealand-style cheddar made with cow and goat milk (think cheddar with a tangy kick), and aged at Standard Market.
& Roth’s Private Reserve, Emmi Roth USA — an Alpine-style cheese made in traditional copper vats; it’s earthy, sweet and nutty with a pleasant finish.
And the second runner-up (third place), Harbison of Jasper Hill Farm, Vermont! This spruce-wrapped, bloomy-rind is the result of a happy accident/mad genius at Jasper Hill, when they slapped spruce bark (from Winnimere) onto a batch of too oozy Moses Sleepers and got this perfectly spoonable delight.
Download a complete list of winners here. More to come featuring a few of our favorite category winners, soon!
At the American Cheese Society “Meet the Cheesemaker” last night, one trend caught my eye immediately — a fresh crop of Morbier-inspired cheeses with the signature striking ash line across the paste. True Morbier is a name-protected cheese which hails from its small namesake village in the Franche-Comté region. It was traditionally made to use leftover curd after the day’s Comté make, and ash was laid over to protect the cheese from flies until more curds could be added the following day. Now, the ash is added for visual appeal rather than sanitation. These American interpretations are wildly different beyond that trademark ash line.
Here are four new beauties to keep an eye out for on cheese counters near you.
Amoureux – Baetje Farms, Missouri
Baetje specializes in beautiful French-inspired cheeses, and Amoureux is a unique mixed goat-sheep milk take, dense, grassy and delicious.
Ashbrook — Spring Brook Farm, Vermont
Can’t beat that sweet creamy milk of this Vermont creamery, whose Tarentaise was last year’s Best in Show. Ashbrook is their third and newest cheese.
Coppinger — Sequatchie Cove Creamery, Tennessee
The meaty big brother to their supple and oozy Dancing Fern, this one has a bacony finish and a hint of smoke, from an addition of smoked salt. Made for pairing with whiskey.
Rowdy Gentleman — Prodigal Farm, North Carolina
One impressive log! This would be striking on a cheeseboard as a slice rather than your traditional wedge.
You can see a few more of our favorite finds via Instagram.