The awards keep coming for LaClare Family Creamery. The family-operated, artisan-style goat farm just brought home a trio of ribbons from the American Cheese Society Conference (ACS) in Denver, one of the country’s most prestigious and rigorous cheese competitions.
LaClare captured third-place honors with three products: Its specialty goat yogurt along with two of its most popular cheeses, Evalon and Cave-Aged Chandoka. “Every year is a new year, with new competition and new factors. It’s an honor to place not only once, but three times. That’s extraordinary,” said LaClare Cheesemaker Katie Fuhrmann.
The ACS is one of the three major 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.
With this honor, LaClare’s yogurt victory continues a successful streak for the recently introduced product line: It swept the top four spots for non-cow dairy yogurts at the U.S. Championship in June.
LaClare’s Evalon was the original cheese crafted under the LaClare Farms brand. In 2011, it won the Best of Show out of 1,604 cheeses at the U.S. Championship.
LaClare’s Chandoka is a part-cow/part-goat milk blend with a unique flavor profile that is ever-changing through its life cycle. In April, LaClare expanded and renovated its farm headquarters at W2994 County HH in Malone to bring production of its Cave-Aged Chandoka to the site.
“This is one of the most highly awarded and creative processors in the world,” said LaClare affineur David Rogers, who joined Fuhrmann at the ACS. This year’s ACS Competition broke all records for the professionally judged contest with 2,024 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 281 companies, a 10 percent growth over the prior year. Competing companies represented 36 U.S. states, four Canadian provinces, Mexico, and Colombia. ACS awarded a total of 410 ribbons: 111 first place ribbons, 142 second place ribbons and 157 third place ribbons.
“Artisan cheese is clearly on a growth curve in both quality and diversity. We are thrilled by the record number of entries in this year’s ACS competition. It is a testament to the creativity and vitality of artisan cheesemakers,” said Nora Weiser, ACS executive director.