Our Blue Ribbon Week officially concludes today with a look at some top-in-their-class bloomy rinds. Remember to leave a comment below, or on any or all of this week’s posts, for a chance to win that Blue Ribbon Beauties gift box (FREE CHEESE!) from Murray’s.
Some of the most talked about cheeses at Thursday evening’s Meet the Cheesemaker were those from Green Dirt Farm in Missouri, so it was no surprise to see them win a handful of ribbons the following night. They took first place for both their fresh cheese (sheeps milk, aged 0-30 days) and for Dirt Lover (sheeps milk, aged 31-60 days), plus two second-place ribbons and a third-place for their flavored fresh cheeses and yogurt. Dirt Lover, pictured above, is a lovely soft-ripened round, ash-dusted cheese in the style of French classic Selles-sur-Cher. Dense with a slight creamline under the ash, it is earthy, grassy and vivacious. As you might guess from the name, Green Dirt Farm is mindful of the impact of healthy soil and grass on their animals’ milk; they practice rotational grazing and use no chemicals on their pasture.
Also made with sheeps milk, Ancient Heritage Dairy of Madras, Oregon, took home a blue ribbon for Valentine (open category, soft-ripened, sheep or mixed milk). Valentine (above, right) is a buttery and rich, pristine white bloomy-rind.
MouCo Cheese Company of Colorado was a repeat winner, taking first place in open category, soft-ripened cows milk with their Ashley for the second year running. This oozy, ashy bloomy is a real treat (seen, slightly out of focus, above left).
And in the soft-ripened goats milk category, a big congrats to our friends at Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery for a blue ribbon win for Bonne Bouche! (PS If you have curd kids of your own, I’m hosting a kid-friendly goat cheese giveaway, sponsored by Vermont Creamery, over on FoodieTots.)
If only we’d been able to pack this winning quartet in our suitcases — we’d be toasting them with a glass of champagne this weekend for sure.
BLUE RIBBON GIVEAWAY: We’ve teamed up with the cheese-loving crew at Murray’s Cheese to offer one lucky reader a “Blue Ribbon Beauties” box of winning cheeses. Leave a comment on each of this week’s “Blue Ribbon Week” posts for the best chance of winning a shipment straight from Murray’s to you. We’ll pick a winner at random next Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Good luck!
So tell us, what’s your favorite bubbly-worthy cheese?
Disclosure: Murray’s is generously providing the giveaway prize, but no other compensation was received.