The American Cheese Society (ACS) has given top honors to Carr Valley Cheese Co. of La Valle, Wis., during its 25th Annual Conference and Cheese Competition held last week in Chicago. Cheesemaker Sid Cook garnered the Best of Show prize for his Snow White Goat Cheddar.


Carr Valley’s entry was singled out as the best of the best among the 1,149 cheeses

submitted by more than 180 producers. As usual, many of the winners were from Wisconsin; many of those Wisconsin winners were from Carr Valley, which produces a broad array of cheese styles and enters many competition categories each year.

“For the past decade, it has been a wonderful experience to be part of the American Cheese Society, which is such an excellent forum for exchanging ideas and information,” Cook said. “I was stunned and extremely excited. Truly a thrill of a lifetime, since this competition is the Olympics of cheese!”

Wisconsin grabbed 91 ribbons, nearly one-third of all awards bestowed, and more than any other state. The awards included 25 firsts, 32 seconds and 34 third places. Other noteworthy winners include “Best of Show” second runner-up Galax, Va.-based Meadow Creek Dairy’s cheese Grayson, and third runner-up Carr Valley’s Cave Aged Marisa.

“Because it is the 25th anniversary of our conference, we were thrilled to have 1,149 entries, sustaining our momentum from last year's record number of entries in the cheese competition,” said David Grotenstein, chairman of the competition and judging committee of the American Cheese Society. “The competition is truly remarkable because it brings together the cheeses that represent emerging trends, outstanding examples of traditional cheese varieties and leaders in the world of American artisan cheese all in one place.”