Vermont cheese makers rule at American Cheese Society competition

The Vermont Cheese Council (VCC),  dedicated to the production and advancement of Vermont Cheese, saw 46 ribbons go to  20 member cheesemakers at the 32nd annual American Cheese Society competition in Providence, RI recently. Notable awards include a third place Best In Show designation for Cellars at Jasper Hill’s (Greensboro) Harbison, and ribbons by brand new VCC members Fairy Tale Farm Cheese (Bridport) and Sweet Rowen Farmstead (West Glover).

The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS has hosted North America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. This year’s competition included 1,779 entries from 267 companies across North America.

Last year’s record number (23) of Vermont cheese makers competing was beat again this year, as 27 of the state’s artisan cheesemakers submitted cheeses to be judged at the ACS. T

Vermont was represented with a third place Best in Show award for Cellars at Jasper Hill’s Harbison, a soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese with a rustic, bloomy rind. The cheese is wrapped in strips of spruce cambium, the tree’s inner bark layer, harvested from the woodlands of Jasper Hill.

“The strength and respect of Vermont cheese continues to grow, which was evident tonight at the American Cheese Society awards,” says 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.”

Winning Cheeses from Vermont were:

· Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro: Third Place-Best in Show for Harbison.

· Boston Post Dairy, Enosburg Falls: Gisele, Smoking Goud, third place
· Bonneview Farm, Craftsbury Common: Nevis, second place;
· Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cabot: Cabot Old School Cheddar, first; Jalapeno Lite Cheddar, Plain Greek Style Yogurt, second;
· Cellars at Jasper Hill, Greensboro: Harbison, first place and third place-best in show; Winnemere, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Select – first place; and ; Alpha Tolman and Willoughby, second place
· Consider Bardwell Farm, West Pawlet: Pawlet, first; Rupert Reserve, second; Manchester, third
· Fairy Tale Farm Cheese, Bridport: Will O’ Wisp, third
· Franklin Foods, Enosburg Falls: Hahn’s Cultured Cream Cheese, first place
· Grafton Village Cheese, Grafton: Vermont Clothbound Cheddar, second place
· Maplebrook Farm, Bennington: Burrata, Whole Milk Block Feta, second place; Smoked Handmade Mozzarella, third place
· Mount Mansfield Creamery, Morrisville: Forerunner, second; Sunrise, third place
· Parish Hill Creamery, Westminster West: Vermont Herdsman at Crown Finish Caves, first; Suffolk Punch, third
· Plymouth Artisan Cheese, Plymouth: Hot Pepper, second; Sage & Herb, third
· Sage Farm Goat Dairy, Stowe: Fresh Chevre, third place
· Shelburne Farms, Shelburne: Barnhouse Smoked Cheddar, third
· Spring Brook Farm/Farms for City Kids, Reading: Reading, first place; Tarentaise Reserve and Tarentaise, third place
· Sweet Rowen Farmstead, West Glover: Nettle Farmers Cheese, first
· Twig Farm, Cornwall: Washed Rind Wheel, third
· Vermont Creamery, Websterville: Bijou, Sea Salt and Maple Butter, first place; Bonne Bouche, Goat Feta and 1916 Wegman’s Chevre, second place; Fresh Crottin, Culture Butter Unsalted, third
· Vermont Shepherd, Putney: Verano, first; 2 Year Old Invierno, third place
· Woodcock Farm, Dorset: Summer Snow, second

For a comprehensive list of the 2015 American Cheese Society winners, visit CheeseJudging.org.

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