The Olympics may be over, but our ACS Blue Ribbon series continues on with a nod to Vermont’s winners. Yes, we mentioned Cellars at Jasper Hill‘s Harbison ribbon in bloomy-rinds, but they also received a second place ribbon for Weybridge of Scholten Family Farm. Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery seemingly alternated laps across the stage with Paula Lambert of The Mozzarella Company, Tex., as the fresh dairy categories were announced. VBC took home 12 ribbons in total, including a blue ribbon in the original recipe, goats milk category for Coupole and second place for Cremont in original recipe, sheep/mixed milk milks.
Y’all know we’ve had our eye on the sheeps milk cheeses coming from Dane Huebner at Grafton Village Cheese, and the ACS judges must have as well: blue ribbon for Bismark in the aged sheeps milk category, a second place for Ewewden, Apple Pie in the marinated sheeps/mixed milks, and a third place for Bear Hill in the washed rind, sheeps/mixed milks. Now if Bear Hill was on the tasting table at the Festival of Cheese, I somehow missed it — and am now kicking myself as it won’t be available till fall. In the meantime, take a look at Bismark:
As reported last year, when I first made the acquaintance of Bismark, the cheese is named for a legendary and majestic Vermont ram from the late 19th century. It is a 100% sheep-milk cheese, in contrast to Best in Show Flagsheep from Beecher’s, which is a mixed sheep and cows milk. Aged at least three months, Bismark is nutty, sweet and robust — and such a lovely warm, golden hue, too.
I spoke to Huebner after the award ceremony and to say he was ecstatic over the recognition of sheeps milk cheeses at ACS may well be an understatement. He’s also fired up to return to Wisconsin next year with his Vermont masterpieces in hand (he is a licensed Wisconsin Cheesemaker who once worked with Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, Wisc.). Look out, cheese heads!
The cheeses we’ve highlighted this past week may be hard to find outside of their local regions, but you can get your hands on Murray’s Blue Ribbon Beauties collection via their website for mail order.
*Photo of Bismark provided by Grafton Village Cheese.