How many Cheese Grand Prix finalists have you tasted?

canadian-cheese-grand-prix_halfpagewidthThe 81 finalists in the 2015 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix have been announced. The prestigious biennial competition sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada saw 268 cheeses submitted in 27 categories.

The winners will be announced April 22 at a Gala of Champions in Toronto.

Quebec, home to the majority of Canada’s cheese producers, dominates the list of 81 finalists with 31 cheeses. Naturally, some of the larger producers have the most finalists: Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, 7 finalists, Sylvan Star Cheese, 6, and Natural Pastures Cheese Company and Fromagerie du Presbytère, 5.

The competition, open to cheese made exclusively with Canadian cow’s milk, first started in 1998 to promote achievement and innovation in cheesemaking and to spotlight the quality of Canadian milk.

Here are the 2015 finalists:category 1 fresh ch#196C2DE

Fresh Cheese

category 2 fresh pa#196C2EAFresh Pasta Filata

category 3 cheese w#196C2E9Fresh Cheese with grilling properties

category 4 soft che#196C307Soft Cheese with bloomy rind

category 5 soft che#196C2F8Cream-enriched Soft Cheese with bloomy rind

category 6 semi-sof#196C2EFSemi-soft Cheese

category 7 soft wit#196C2F0Washed- or Mixed-Rind Soft Cheese

category 8 semi-sof#196C305Washed- or Mixed-Rind Semi-soft Cheese

category 9 firm che#196C2F2Washed- or Mixed-Rind Firm Cheese

category 10 firm in#196C2DBFirm Cheese (except Cheddar and Gouda)

category 11 swiss 1#196C2ECSwiss-type Cheese

category 12 mozzare#196C2FFMozzarella (Ball, Brick or Cylinder) or Pasta Filata

category 13 ripened#196C2FBBrine-ripened Cheese

category 14 gouda 1#196C302Gouda (aged 1 to 6 months)

category 16 gouda 9#196C308Aged Gouda

category 17 extra g#196C2F9Extra Aged Gouda

category 18 blue ch#196C2E7Blue Cheese

category 19 flavour#196C2E4Flavoured Cheese with added non-particulate flavourings (except smoked cheese)

category 20 smoked #196C313Smoked Cheese

category 21 flavour#196C2F5Flavoured Cheese with added particulate solids and flavourings

category 20 smoked #196C313Mild Cheddar (aged 3 months)

category 23 medium #196C2F6Medium Cheddar (aged 4 to 9 months)

category 24 cheddar#196C2F3Old Cheddar (aged from 9 months to a year)

category 25 cheddar#196C2FCAged Cheddar (1 to 3 years)

category 26 cheddar#196C304Aged Cheddar (more than 3 years)

category 27 fromage#196C2DDFarmhouse Cheese

category 28 fromage#196C301Organic Cheese

Typically, many of the finalists and winners are available for sampling and purchase at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, this year taking place June 6-7 at Picton Fairgrounds in the heart of Ontario’s Prince Edward County, just south of Belleville in Bay of Quinte Region, near spectacular Sandbanks Provincial Park.

 

Canadian cheeses winners in largest U.S. competition

Big winners at ACS: Alastair MacKenzie and Lucille Giroux of La Moutonnière of Ste-Hélène de Chester, Quebec.

Eighteen Canadian cheeses were honoured at this year’s American Cheese Society Judging and Competition held in Seattle on the weekend. It’s the largest cheese competition in the Americas with 225 producers from 34 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico delivering a record 1,462 cheeses and cultured dairy products for judging.

Fifteen of the winners are Quebec cheeses, two are British Columbia (Kootenay Alpine Cheese), and one is Ontario (Fifth Town Artisan Cheese). La Moutonnière won four times, the most wins for a single cheesemaker from Canada.

SOFT RIPENED CHEESES

Open Category, made from sheep’s or mixed milks

1st – Soeur Angele
Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser
Quebec

Triple Crème – soft ripened/cream added

2nd – Brie Le Trappeur Triple Crème
Damafro
Quebec

Cheesemaker Simon Hamel at work in the make room of Fromagerie Éco-Délices in Plessisville, Québec.

AMERICAN ORIGINALS

Oka

2nd – Douanier
Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser
Quebec

3rd – Mamirolle
Eco Delices
Quebec

AMERICAN MADE/INTERNATIONAL STYLE

Open Category, made from cow’s milk

2nd – Raclette Nature
Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser
Quebec

Emmental-style made from cow’s milk with eye formation

2nd – Frere Jacques
Fromagerie Abbaye St-Benoit
Quebec

3rd – Mont-Gleason
La Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage
Quebec

BLUE MOLD CHEESES

Blue-veined made from cow’s milk with a rind or external coating

3rd – Benedictin
Fromagerie Abbaye St-Benoit
Quebec

Blue-veined made from sheep’s milk or mixed milk with a rind or external coating

1st – Bleu de La Moutonnière
La Moutonnière
Quebec

FETA CHEESES

Feta made from sheep’s milk or mixed milks

2nd – Feta Naturel
La Moutonnière
Quebec

For Wayne and Denise Harris, Kootenay Alpine Cheese is family operation—from soil management to the finished award-winning product—with daughters Nadine and Erin. Photo by Imageobcura Nelson BC.

FARMSTEAD CHEESES

Open Category cow’s milk cheeses, hard

2nd – Alpindon
Kootenay Alpine Cheese
British Columbia

2nd – Nostrala
Kootenay Alpine Cheese
British Columbia

Open Category sheep’s milk and mixed milk

2nd – Fleur des Monts
La Moutonnière
Quebec

FRESH SHEEP’S MILK CHEESES

Open to all shapes and styles of rindless, unaged, fresh sheep’s milk cheeses

3rd – Cabanon
La Moutonnière
Quebec

WASHED RIND CHEESES

Open Category made from cow’s milk

2nd – Magie de Madawaska
Fromagerie Le Détour
Quebec

3rd – Guillaume Tell
Domaine Feodal
Quebec

3rd – Cantonnier
La Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage
Quebec

Open Category made from sheep’s milk or mixed milks

3rd – Bonnie and Floyd
Fifth Town Artisan Cheese
Ontario

Stephanie Diamant is the veteran cheesemaker at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Unlike other cheese competitions, where cheeses are graded down for technical defects, the American Cheese Society’s goal is to give positive recognition to those cheeses that are of the highest quality in their aesthetic evaluation (i.e. flavor, aroma, and texture), as well as their technical evaluation. As a result, the highest quality cheeses are those that the Society feels deserve the recognition of an American Cheese Society award, based on a minimum number of points awarded (totaling 100 points possible) for First, Second, or Third Place. In categories, or subcategories, where the minimum number of points is not earned, no awards are given.