A blue cheese from Canada won the top award in the 2015 American Cheese Society competition, while two Wisconsin cheeses tied for second and a Vermont cheese took third.

In July, Celtic Blue Reserve from Glengarry Fine Cheese in Ontario, Canada, was named  Best of Show among 1,779 entries at the American Cheese Society’s 2015 Judging & Competition in Providence, R.I. Tied for 2nd place overall were LaClare Farms Specialties’ Standard Market Cave Aged Chandoka and Emmi Roth USA’s Roth’s Private Reserve. Both cheesemakers are from Wisconsin. Cellars at Jasper Hill from Vermont was awarded 3rd place overall for its Harbison.

The American Cheese Society supports the understanding, appreciation and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. Among its 1,500-plus members are cheesemakers, retailers and others allied to the dairy industry.

The competition drew 1,779 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 267 companies. Entering companies represented 31 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. Three hundred fifty-five ribbons were awarded: 95 first place ribbons, 127 second place ribbons, and 133 third place ribbons.

Margaret Peters-Morris of Glengarry Fine Cheese, speaking about winning Best of Show honors, said “This is not only for me, but for Canada. This win is very important for the Canadian dairy industry. We have the confidence, and we can do this as well as anybody.”

As soon as the winners were announced, state dairy associations proclaimed their dominance in the competition.

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board was quick to point out that its members captured more awards than any other state for the 11th consecutive year. America’s Dairyland garnered 101 ribbons, including two Best of Show awards.

WMMB said Wisconsin cheese, butter and yogurt makers claimed 28% of all awards bestowed, including 22 first place ribbons, 39 second place and 38 third place. It noted that Wisconsin cheesemakers swept five categories: American Originals - Brick Cheese; American Originals Original Recipe - Open Category; Italian Type Cheeses - Grating Types; Flavored Cheeses - International-Style with Flavor Added; and Flavored Cheeses - Sheep Cheese with Flavor Added. Wisconsin cheesemakers won 33% of all awards (77 total ribbons) for cow’s milk cheeses.

California cheesemakers took home 47 ribbons, consisting of 12 first place, 21 second place and 14 third place awards. Its first place awards were outnumbered by Wisconsin (22) and Vermont (13).

The Vermont Cheese Council issued its own press release about the 46 ribbons its 20 cheesemaker members received. Besides the third place Best In Show designation for Cellars at Jasper Hill, other notable winners were new VCC members Fairy Tale Farm Cheese and Sweet Rowen Farmstead.

“The strength and respect of Vermont cheese continues to grow, which was evident tonight at the American Cheese Society awards,” said Tom Bivins, Vermont Cheese Council executive director. “Twenty of our entered 27 cheesemakers took home 46 ribbons for their cheese, butter or yogurt. Winners included long-standing members and brand new members, showing that this category of artisan food for Vermont continues to shine.”

The 33rd Annual ACS Conference & Competition will take place July 27 - 30, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Wisconsin, California, Vermont ran away with ribbons         

State                             Total Ribbons

Wisconsin                   99

California                     47

Vermont                       44

Oregon                        18

Quebec                         18

New York                     13

Ontario                         12

Massachusetts            10

Maine                           10

Missouri                       8

24 other states won 7 or fewer awards.

Source: American Cheese Society

Canadian importer wins at International Cheese Awards

Ontario, Canada-based Finica Food Specialties took home four awards at the 2015 International Cheese Awards held in Nantwich, UK. Finica is an importer and distributor of specialty cheese and gourmet food items. It is a sister company to the U.S. distributor Atalanta.

Gold Awards went to Mariposa Dairy’s artisanal lines Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar (Best Canadian Cheese) and Tania (Best Canadian Sheep Cheese). Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar won silver in the category of Hard Pressed cheese open to non-UK producers. Zoey was awarded Bronze for Best Canadian Washed Rind Cheese.

Franklin Foods wins gold award at American Cheese Society Competition

Delray Beach, Fla.-based Franklin Foods Inc. was given a First Place award at the 2015 American Cheese Society Competition held in August. The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leader in supporting and promoting American cheeses.

Franklin Foods’ Hahn’s Cream Cheese was awarded 1st Place in the category “Fresh Unripened Cheeses – Mascarpone and Cream Cheese Made from Cow’s Milk.” This cultured cream cheeseis used in Franklin Foods’ proprietary branded as well as Franklin Foods’ store brand and private-label products. Other brands recognized in the category include Arthur Schuman, who took 2nd place for its Cello Rich and Creamy Mascarpone and Lactalis American Group, who also took 2nd for its Mascarpone. Alouette Cheese USA was awarded 3rd place for its California Cow Cream Cheese.

 SOURCE: Franklin Foods