The Vermont Cheese Council (VCC), an organization dedicated to the advancement of Vermont cheese, recently announced which five Vermont Cheese Council members were awarded 20 ribbons at this year's U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. These included five Best of Class awards and three Top 20 Finalists.
According to a press release, Cabot Creamery Cooperative teams in Cabot and Middlebury, VT, won Best of Class ribbons for its Medium Cheddar (Cabot Team) and its Extra Sharp Cheddar (Middlebury Team.) Both cheeses were also Top 20 Finalists. The Cabot Team also picked up a second-place ribbon for its Extra Sharp Cheddar. Along with its classic Cheddars, Cabot won ribbons for its 50% Reduced Fat Jalapeno Cheddar, and the Everything Bagel Cheddar, as well as Colby Jack Cracker Cuts and Cottage Cheese. The Cabot team in West Springfield, MA, was awarded a Best of Class and a second-place ribbon for its Unsalted Butter, and a second-place ribbon for its Salted Butter. McCadam Cheese, Cabot’s sister creamery co-op in Chateauguay, NY, also picked up a second-place ribbon for its Sharp Cheddar.
Vermont Creamery in Websterville, VT, is Vermont’s second highest winner of ribbons at the championship this year. Vermont Creamery won a Best of Class ribbon for its Bijou, a surface mold-ripened goat’s milk cheese. Bijou was a Top 20 Finalist. Vermont Creamery won third-place ribbons for its Fresh Crottin, Cremont, Coupole, and Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraiche. The company also won a second-place ribbon for its Cultured Butter with Sea Salt Maple.
Jasper Hill Farm was awarded two Best of Class ribbons for Bayley Hazen Blue and Winnimere, a washed rind ripened soft cheese. The Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm was awarded a third-place ribbon for its Cave Aged Cheddar Cheese, which is a collaboration with Cabot Creamery Cooperative.
Grafton Village Cheese Company was also awarded two ribbons. A second-place ribbon was awarded for Queen of Quality Clothbound Cheddar, an exceptional reserve cave-aged clothbound cheddar of limited quantity. Grafton Village was also awarded a second-place ribbon for Bear Hill, a washed-rind, cave-aged raw milk sheep cheese.
Wegman’s Food Markets was also recognized with a third-place ribbon for its collaboration with Spring Brook Farm in Reading, VT, for The Full Ver-Monty. In recent years, Vermont cheesemakers have been working within the affinage system of producing green cheese to be aged by affineurs around the country. The affinage system allows cheesemakers to have working capital and frees up cave space in their own facilities. Working with experts in cave aging, the cheeses can develop under very specific environmental conditions to bring out flavor and nuances in the final aged cheese.
For more information, please visit the Vermont Cheese Council's website. And for the latest coverage on the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, keep reading us here at Deli Market News.