Celebrating our Latest Award Winning Cheeses!August 1, 2017
Last week the American Cheese Society (ACS) held its annual conference in Denver, CO. This year’s theme, ‘Cheese with Altitude’. One of the highlights, the competition naming the best cheeses of the Americas.
The ACS contest is one of the three major technical cheese competitions in the U.S. along with the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison and the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay (held on alternating years and operated by the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association).
This year the ACS competition broke all records with 2,024 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 281 companies, a 10 percent increase over last year. With so many entries, we wondered how our own submissions would fare? Would we still have a shot at ranking in our categories? Competing companies represented 36 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, Mexico, and Colombia. That’s a lot of competition!
In the end, the ACS awarded a total of 410 ribbons: 111 first place ribbons, 142 second place ribbons, and 157 third place ribbons. Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery walked away with 3 ribbons for our entries! Meet our award winners…
2nd Place, Brick Muenster Category
2nd Place, Flavored Monterey Jack Category
3rd Place, Flavored Monterey Jack Category
That’s right, we took home two out of the three ribbons in the Flavored Monterey Jack Category! While our Muenster and Hot Pepper Jack has earned top honors in the past, this is the first award for our Ghost Pepper Jack cheese, which was first released for consumer sale in 2014. In just a few short years, this fiery cheese has amassed quite a following!
What’s the secret behind crafting an award winning cheese? According to Nora Weiser, the Executive Director of the American Cheese Society: “Really it starts with the land and the animals. If those are well-cared for, you’ll get great milk, and it takes high-quality milk to make the types of high-quality cheeses that win awards in our competition.”
We couldn’t agree more! This is a win for everyone in our organization… from our patron farm families to our cheese making staff, it’s their dedication to quality that is the first ingredient in every product we make.
We invite you to taste for yourself the reason why the esteemed ACS judges fell in love with these cheeses. All can be purchased at our Ellsworth or Comstock retail stores, through our online store, or at a grocery store dairy or deli case near you!