Best bites: Outstanding cheeses of 2013

Ruckles from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company. Photo: Bob Chelmick.

Ruckles from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company. Photo: Bob Chelmick.

We bring the curtain down on 2013 with friends in fromage recalling the memorable cheeses that crossed their palates this year. In alphabetical order, mainly, here are 22 outstanding cheeses of the year just ending—plus new Canadian fondues and a pilgrimage cheese lovers must make.

Flavoured cheeses

It is surprising, even to me, that two of my three faves of 2013 are flavoured cheeses, which to me is a testimony to high-quality cheesemaking. Flavours that meld with the cheese substrate where the cheese and the flavour counterpart do a sublime dance.
—Janice Beaton, Owner, Janice Beaton Fine Cheese, FARM Restaurant

Ruckles, Salt Spring Island Cheese Company
David Wood knocks it out of the park, again. In a sea of so many pedestrian offerings of marinated goat cheese, Ruckles is in class all its own. Firm yet silkily textured cylinders of cheese are bathed in grapeseed oil which is speckled with a mix of thyme, rosemary, chives and garlic, in perfect proportion.

Chili Pecorino, The Cheesiry
The Chili Pecorino is one of my favourite offerings from Rhonda Zuk Headon’s repertoire. The balance of chilis embedded in this toothsome cheese provides a gentle heat that lingers on the palate while the nutty, olive flavour of this sheep milk cheese still holds its own. Not an easy accomplishment but Rhonda pulls it off!

Cheese fondues

Cheese fondue, the melted-cheese dish popular some years ago, is making a comeback—but without the classic ingredients of Comté, Beaufort, Gruyere or Emmental.

Four new ready-to-eat Cheese Fondues arrived on the market in 2013. All amazing, with either Louis d’Or, 14 Arpents or Victor et Berthold or the one from Charlevoix with both 1608 and Hercule in the box!
Alain Besré, Fromagerie Atwater and Aux Terroirs

One of my best bites was a fondue made from Victor et Berthold, a beautiful washed rind from Fromagerie Du Champ a la Meule in Québec. This cheese made one of the most delicious fondues of all time. It made me very happy.
—Wendy Furtenbacher, Blogger, CurdyGirl, Cheesemonger, Sobeys Queensway

 Outstanding cheese of 2013

Alfred Le Fermier (24 months), Fromagerie La Station de Compton
Alfred Le Fermier is a true, rustic, organic, raw cow’s milk farmstead cheese made in small batches, pressed and cooked, washed/turned by hand, as a way of life on the farm. It has a European style, but with local terroir, as a result of choosing closely the hay from their local Estrie region. Note heavy woodsy, herbal and mild floral aromas, with layers of milky, grassy and buttery complexity on the palette, more pronounced when aged for 24 months.
—Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier, Savvy Company

Beau’s Abbey Style Cheese, Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese
A delicious marriage of Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese of Woodstock, Ontario, with Beau’s All Natural Brewing of Vankleek Hill, Ontario. This sumptuous semi-soft cheese is washed with a seasonal beer from Beau’s. Beer and cheese together, pure bliss!
—Gurth Pretty, Senior Category Manager, Deli Cheese, Loblaw Companies

Brebichon, Les Fromages du Verger
I simply adore Brebichon, a farmstead sheep milk cheese that is oh so creamy, delicate and lucious. This apple juice washed cheese is an absolute must buy on every stop I make at Fromagerie Atwater in Montréal.
—Wendy Furtenbacher, Blogger, CurdyGirl, Cheesemonger, Sobeys Queensway

Chemin Hatley, Fromagerie La Station de Compton
Made with organic raw milk from a closed herd of fourth-generation family-farmed cows, this cheese readily fulfills its potential. Supple and fragrant, with yeasty and savoury aromas, and a long layered finish.
—Julia Rogers, Cheese Educator, Cheese Culture

Crottin à ma Manière, Fromagerie L’Atelier
The goat’s milk cheese Crottin à ma Manière from Simon Hamel at Fromagerie l’Atelier in the Bois-Francs region of Québec surpasses famed Chavignol of France, is much cheaper and it’s federally licensed.
Alain Besré, Fromagerie Atwater and Aux Terroirs

Dragon’s Breath Blue, That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm
A rare find and 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix finalist, Dragon’s Breath Blue is a closely guarded family secret. Unique in shape and size, these small cylinders of blue cheese are aged only a few weeks then coated with wax for ripening another 2-6 months. The flavor and texture varies by season, more buttery/creamy in the summer months with higher fat content in the milk. Note sharp blue flavor, moist texture with fruity notes, and little blue veining depending on exposure to air. More than worth the shipping charges!
—Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier, Savvy Company

Figaro from Glengarry Fine Cheese. Photo: Vanessa Simmons.

Figaro from Glengarry Fine Cheese. Photo: Vanessa Simmons.

Figaro, Glengarry Fine Cheese
I choose Figaro from Glengarry–not that I don’t love (and love the Global award!) for the Lankaaster Aged but I kind of forgot about the amazingly fresh and delicate qualities. And we found each other again this year–lucky for me.
Sue Riedl, Cheese Columnist, The Globe and Mail 

Fleur des Monts, La Moutonnière
Not as consistent as one might want, though still an ambitious and expressive farmstead cheese modeled loosely after Manchego, but more floral, bright and pungent.
—Julia Rogers, Cheese Educator, Cheese Culture 

Grizzly Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese
I’ve served the Grizzly Gouda from Sylvan Star many times at events or at home this year and it is outstanding in its complexity, looooong finish and “ability to wow” factor.
Sue Riedl, Cheese Columnist, The Globe and Mail 

La Sauvagine Réserve, La Maison Alexis de Portneuf
Somehow the cheesemakers at Alexis de Portneuf improved their already mouth-watering, soft, mixed rind La Sauvagine cheese. What did they do? Add cream to it, making it a triple crème. Grab some of this cheese while you can. A limited amount of this OMG mouth experience was created.
—Gurth Pretty, Senior Category Manager, Deli Cheese, Loblaw Companies

Laliberté, Fromagerie du Presbytère,
I have to start with Laliberté from Fromagerie du Presbytere–the triple cream that I could not stop eating, and made from organic milk to boot.
Sue Riedl, Cheese Columnist, The Globe and Mail

Lankaaster Aged, Glengarry Fine Cheese
Supreme Global Champion at the 2013 Global Cheese Awards, this firm to hard cow’s milk cheeses comes shaped in a loaf or wheel, covered in a waxy rind, and is a Gouda-style after Dutch farmstead cheeses. It’s a rich, dense, chewy cheese with intense buttery, fruity, caramelized nutty flavors that linger forever.
—Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier, Savvy Company

Le Vlimeux, Fromagerie Le Mouton Blanc
It’s not hard to see how this multiple Caseus award-winning cheese is smokin’ hot! Vlimeux is a firm, pressed, uncooked raw sheep’s milk cheese, with a hard, waxy, glossy, caramel-hued rind. Smoke, salt and nut permeate the interior overlaying the cheese’s natural sweet milky flavors in a perfect complement.
—Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier, Savvy Company

Maple Cheddar, Black River Cheese
What could be more Canadian than Black River’s Maple Cheddar? This cheese provides a bite that is perfectly balanced between sweet and savoury, and just —Wendy Furtenbacher, Blogger, CurdyGirl, Cheesemonger, Sobeys Queensway

Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds
Okay, this is part of the cheese but my wife and I cannot resist adding small cubes of it into our soups, chili, tomato sauce and risotto. The dried rind softens in the broth, releasing its flavour and becomes chewable. We love it so much that we actually have to buy some from our local grocery store.
—Gurth Pretty, Senior Category Manager, Deli Cheese, Loblaw Companies

Pont Blanc, Fromagerie Au Grés Des Champs
Pont Blanc is a soft, lactic, surface ripened cow milk cheese. A rare find outside the farmstead retail store, the skin-like rind on this beauty reminds of intricate ivory lace, while the dense interior has the texture of a soft cream sandwich and moist piece of cheesecake. Note pronounced flavors and aromas of fresh sweet milk, and grass that linger and linger.
—Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier, Savvy Company

Ricotta, Quality Cheese
The 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Grand Champion, the humble Ricotta from Quality Cheese reigned supreme, winning against more than 225 of Canada’s best cheeses, a first ever for both an Ontario cheese and a fresh category cheese. Fresh, creamy, melt in your mouth Ricotta (which means re-cooked in Italian, as it’s made from the leftover whey after making other cheese). Very light, but rich, and very versatile as a simple cheese to eat with a variety of garnishes/condiments or used in cooking.
—Vanessa Simmons, Cheese Sommelier, Savvy Company 

Taleggio, Northern Italy
Taleggio (1996 Italian DOP) has and will always be in my Top 10. It’s a semi-soft, washed rind, smear-ripened Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio where it has been made since the 10th century. The cheese has a thin crust and a strong aroma, but its flavour is comparatively mild with an unusual fruity tang.
Alain Besré, Fromagerie Atwater and Aux Terroirs

Water Buffalo Mozzarella, Old West Ranch

James Meservy deserves a medal for perseverance! He has faced many challenges in the last two years in his attempt to bring high quality Old West Ranch Water Buffalo Mozzarella to the artisan Canadian cheese market. When it is in its finest form, it is dense and velvety without being the least bit rubbery and sweetly milky with a tangy underpinning that keeps us reaching for more.
—Janice Beaton, Owner, Janice Beaton Fine Cheese, FARM Restaurant

Only one imported cheese—Taleggio—made the 2013 most memorable list, but Julia Rogers offers this recommendation:

As far as international picks go, I’d suggest that any cheese lover make a pilgrimage to Neil’s Yard Dairy in London. The pleasures are too many to enumerate, but this is mecca, without a doubt. Here’s just one photo. And, yes, I tasted virtually everything in the shot.
—Julia Rogers, Cheese Educator, Cheese Culture

Neal's Yard Dairy: Mecca for cheese lovers. Photo: Julia Rogers.

Neal’s Yard Dairy: Mecca for cheese lovers. Photo: Julia Rogers.

See also:

Canadians produce 30 of the best cheeses in the Americas

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Quality Cheese of Vaughan, Ontario, which won the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix with its cow’s milk Ricotta, won the category of fresh unripened cheese made from sheep or mixed milk with its Bella Casara Buffalo Ricotta.

Canadian cheesemakers won 30 ribbons in the 2013 American Cheese Society Judging & Competition in Madison, Wisconsin, in early August, competing against 1,794 cheeses submitted by 257 producers in the Americas—the largest competition in the history of the ACS.

Twenty-three of the 30 ribbons were won by 10 Québec cheesemakers, four being first-place ribbons, two for Agropur Fine Cheese and one each for Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, represented by Fromages CDA, and La Moutonnière.

Two Ontario producers, Mariposa Dairy, represented by Finica Food Specialties, and Quality Cheese, won first-place ribbons as well.

Best of Show was won by Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont with the Winnimere, an extraordinary take on the French mountain classic Vachering Mont d’Or. Made with raw milk from the farm’s Ayrshire cows, Winnimere is wrapped in cambium cut from the spruce trees on the farm and washed in a beer from a neighbouring brewery. It’s available only January through June.

2013-Winner-Low-Res

Here are the Canadian winners:

OPEN CATEGORY – FRESH UNRIPENED CHEESES – MADE FROM SHEEP’S MILK OR MIXED MILKS

1st    Quality Cheese, Ontario
Buffalo Ricotta Bella Casara

3rd    La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo), Québec
Chèvre des Neiges plain

BRIE – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Brie Normandie

CAMEMBERT – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

1st    Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Camembert l’Extra

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Camembert Vaudreuil

TRIPLE CRÈME – SOFT RIPENED/CREAM ADDED – ALL MILKS

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Chevalier Triple Creme

3rd    La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo), Québec
Saint-Honoré

OPEN CATEGORY – SOFT-RIPENED CHEESES – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Rondoux Double Crème

OPEN CATEGORY – SOFT-RIPENED CHEESES – MADE FROM GOAT’S MILK

3rd    Upper Canada Cheese, Ontario
Nanny Noire

EMMENTAL-STYLE WITH EYE FORMATION (SWISS, BABY SWISS, BLOCKS, WHEELS) – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

1st    Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Oka l’Artisan

3rd    Fromagerie Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac (Fromages CDA), Québec
Le Frère Jacques

OPEN CATEGORY – AMERICAN MADE/INTERNATIONAL STYLE – MADE FROM GOAT’S MILK

3rd    Fromagerie Bergeron, Québec
Patte Blanche

FRESH MOZZARELLA – 8 OZ. OR MORE (BALLS OR SHAPES) – ALL MILKS

2nd   Quality Cheese, Ontario
Bella Casara Fior de Latte

3rd    Quality Cheese, Ontario
Fresh Mozzarella Zerto

FETA – MADE FROM SHEEP’S MILK OR MIXED MILKS

 2nd   La Moutonniere, Québec
Feta

FAT FREE AND LOW FAT CHEESES

2nd   Fromagerie Le Détour, Québec
La Dame du Lac

LIGHT/LITE AND REDUCED FAT CHEESES

1st    Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser (Fromages CDA), Québec 
L’Empereur Léger 

FRESH UNRIPENED CHEESE WITH FLAVOR ADDED – ALL MILKS

3rd    La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo), Québec
Chèvre des Neiges Fig and Orange

INTERNATIONAL-STYLE WITH FLAVOR ADDED – ALL MILKS

2nd   Fromagerie Bergeron, Québec
Le Coureur des bois

HAVARTI WITH FLAVOR ADDED – ALL MILKS

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Havarti Jalapeno

REDUCED FAT CHEESE WITH FLAVOR ADDED – ALL MILKS

2nd   Woolwich Dairy, Ontario
Woolwich Dairy Fresh Chèvre – Big Kick Herb & Garlic

SMOKED CHEDDARS – ALL MILKS

2nd   COWS CREAMERY, Prince Edward Island
Applewood Smoked Cheddar

FRESH RINDLESS GOAT’S MILK CHEESE AGED 0 TO 30 DAYS (BLACK ASH COATING PERMITTED)

3rd    Mariposa Dairy (Finica Food Specialties), Ontario
Celebrity International Goat Cheese Original

SHEEP’S MILK CHEESE AGED OVER 60 DAYS

1st    Mariposa Dairy (Finica Food Specialties), Ontario
Tania

3rd    Fromagerie Nouvelle France, Québec
Zacharie Cloutier

YOGURTS – PLAIN WITH NO ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS –MADE FROM COW’S MILK

3rd    Beurrerie du Patrimoine, Québec
Plain Yogourt

BUTTER WITH OR WITHOUT CULTURES – MADE FROM GOAT’S, SHEEP’S OR MIXED MILKS

1st    La Moutonniere, Québec
Ewes Butter

OPEN CATEGORY – WASHED RIND CHEESES – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

2nd   La Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage (Saputo), Québec
Vacherin

3rd    La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo), Québec
Le Reflet de Portneuf

OPEN CATEGORY – WASHED RIND CHEESES – MADE FROM GOAT’S MILK

2nd   Fromagerie Le Détour, Québec
Sentinelle

Congratulations to all Canadian winners! They are shown below in alphabetical order with a summary of their winnings which accounted for 30 ribbons.

Agropur Fine Cheese
First-place  – 2
Second-place  – 5

Beurrerie du Patrimoine
Third-place  – 1

Cows Creamery
Second-place  – 1

Mariposa Dairty (Finica Food Specialties)
First-place  – 1
Third-place  – 1

Fromagerie Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac (Fromages CDA)

Third-place  – 1

Fromagerie Bergeron
Second-place  – 1
Third-place  – 1

Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser (Fromages CDA)
First-place  – 1

Fromagerie Le Détour
Second-place  – 2

Fromagerie Nouvelle France
Third-place  – 1

La Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage (Saputo)
Second-place  – 1

La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo)
Third-place  – 4

La Moutonniere
First-place  – 1
Second-place  – 1

Quality Cheese
First-place  – 1
Second-place  – 1
Third-place  – 1

Upper Canada Cheese
Third-place  – 1

Woolwich Dairy
Second-place  – 1

The 2014 American Cheese Society Judging & Competition will be held in Sacramento, California.

Canadian winners at American Cheese Society

Lori Legacey, cheesemaker at Mariposa Dairy, has a sniff of a 19-kilo wheel of Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar which was named first runner-up in Best of Show at the American Cheese Society competition. Photo by Lisa Gervais/The Lindsay Post.

Canadian cheesemakers did remarkably well at the 2011 American Cheese Society Conference and Competition in Montreal this week, winning close to one-quarter of ribbons up for grabs. Best of all, Mariposa Dairy with Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar and Fromagerie du Presbytère with Louis d’Or won Best of Show honors.

BEST OF SHOW

Rogue Creamery, OR
Rogue River Blue

BEST OF SHOW 2nd PLACE (TIE)

Mariposa Dairy, ON
Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar

Carr Valley Cheese, WI
Cave Aged Marisa

BEST OF SHOW 3rd PLACE

Fromagerie Du Presbytère, QC
Louis d’Or

Louis d'Or, created by Jean Morin at Fromagerie Du Presbytère (photo), was named second runner-up in Best of Show at the annual ACS competition held in Canada for the first time.

HERE ARE ALL 69 CANADIAN RECIPIENTS OF RIBBONS BY CATEGORY

B. SOFT RIPENED CHEESES
White surface mold ripened cheeses – Brie, Camembert, Coulommiers, etc.

BA: Open Category made from cow’s milk

1st Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
Rondoux Double Crème

2nd Domaine Feodal, QC
Inspire

3rd Domaine Feodal, QC
Cendre des Priés

BB: Brie made from cow’s milk

1st Brazos Valley Cheese, TX
Eden

2nd Brazos Valley Cheese, TX
Brie

3rd La Maison Alexis de Portneuf, QC
Brie de Portneuf Double Crème

BC: Camembert made from cow’s milk

1st No Award Given

2nd Old Europe Cheese, Inc., MI
Camembert Fermier

3rd Alemar Cheese Company, MN
Bent River Camembert – Style Cheese

3rd Upper Canada Cheese, ON
Comfort Cream

BG: Open Category made from goat’s milk

1st Fromagerie Le Détour, QC
Grey Owl

2nd Damafro, QC
La Bûchette

3rd Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, CO
Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy Camembert

BS: Open Category made from sheep’s or mixed milks

1st Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, QC
Le Soeur Angele

2nd Les Bergeries du Fjord, QC
Le Blanche du Fjord

2nd Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, NY
Hudson Valley Camembert Square

3rd Marin French Cheese Co, CA
Melange Brie

BF: Flavor Added – spices, herbs, seasoning, fruits, etc.

1st Marin French Cheese Co, CA
Peppercorn Brie – Garlic

2nd Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
Chevalier Fines Herbs

3rd Old Europe Cheese, Inc., MI
Brie with Herbs

BT: Triple Crème – soft ripened / cream added – all milks

1st Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
Rondoux Triple Crème

2nd Old Europe Cheese, Inc., MI
Brie Triple Créme

3rd Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
Chevalier Triple Crème

CC: Original Recipe / Open Category made from cow’s milk

1st Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, CA
Point Reyes Toma

2nd Cowgirl Creamery, CA
Mt. Tam

3rd Les Fromages de l’île d’Orléans, QC
Le Paillasson de l’isle d’Orléans

D. AMERICAN MADE / INTERNATIONAL STYLE
Cheeses modeled after or based on recipes for established European or other international types or styles – Beaufort, Abondance, Gruyère, Juustoleipa, Caerphilly, English Territorials, Leyden, Butterkäse, Monastery styles, etc.

DD: Dutch style – all milks (Gouda, Edam etc.)

1st Glengarry Fine Cheese, ON
Lankaaster Aged

2nd Oakdale Cheese & Specialties, CA
Gouda

3rd Edelweiss Creamery, WI
Gouda Cellar Aged Grass Based

3rd Old Europe Cheese, Inc., MI
Edam Ball

DC: Open Category made from cow’s milk

1st Eagle Mountain Farmhouse Cheese Co., TX
Birdville Reserve

2nd Monforte Dairy, ON
Abondance

3rd Hahn’s End, ME
Petit Poulet

3rd Sartori Company, WI
Sartori Reserve BellaVitano Gold

DE: Emmental style made from cow’s milk with eye formation (Swiss, Baby Swiss, Blocks, Wheels etc.)

1st No Award Given

2nd Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
OKA L’Artisan

3rd Farmers Cooperative Dairy, NL
Farmers Swiss

DG: Open Category made from goat’s milk

1st Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, QC
Tomme Haut Richelieu

2nd Baetje Farms LLC., MO
Sainte Genevieve

2nd Consider Bardwell Farm, VT
Manchester

3rd Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, CO
Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy Queso De Mano

DS: Open Category made from sheep’s milk or mixed milks

1st Carr Valley Cheese Co, Inc., WI
Caso Bolo Mellage

2nd Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, ON
Fellowship

2nd Tumalo Farms, OR
Rimrocker

3rd Sartori Company, WI
Sartori Limited Edition Pastorale Blend

E. CHEDDARS
All Cheddars – all milks

EA: Aged Cheddar, all milks (aged between 12 and 24 months)

1st Milton Creamery LLC, IA
Prairie Breeze

2nd Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, ON
Premium Goat Cheddar, 12 to 24 months

3rd Kraft Foods, WI
Aged Extra Sharp Cheddar

EG: Cheddar from goat’s milk, aged less than 12 months

1st Central Coast Creamery, CA
Goat Cheddar

2nd Meyenberg Goat Milk Products, CA
Meyenberg Valley Goat Cheddar

3rd Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, ON
Premium Goat Cheddar, <12 months

3rd Mt. Sterling Co-Op Creamery, WI
Sterling Reserve / Raw Goat Milk Cave Aged Cheddar

EX: Mature Cheddar aged between 25 and 48 months

1st Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
Agropur Grand Cheddar aged 3 years

2nd Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, WA
Four Year Flagship

3rd Cabot Creamery Cooperative, VT
Cabot Vintage Choice Cheddar

3rd Tillamook County Creamery Association, OR
Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar

EE: Mature Cheddar aged longer than 48 months

1st Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
Agropur Grand Cheddar aged 5 years

2nd DCI Cheese Company, WI
Black Diamond 5 Year Cheddar

3rd Fromagerie Perron, QC
Doyen

EW: Cheddar wrapped in cloth, linen, aged up to 12 months

1st Cows Creamery, PEI
Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar Aged Up To 12 Months

2nd Bleu Mont Dairy, WI
Bandaged Cheddar – Wrapped and Aged up to 12 Months

3rd Avalanche Cheese Co., CO
Hand Bandaged Goat Cheddar

3rd Brazos Valley Cheese, TX
Cheddar

EB: Cheddar wrapped in cloth, linen, aged over 12 months

1st Mariposa Dairy, ON
Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar

2nd Bleu Mont Dairy, WI
Bandaged Cheddar – Wrapped and Aged Over 12 Months

3rd Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, WA
Flagship Reserve

F. BLUE MOLD CHEESES

All cheeses ripened with Roqueforti or Glaucum Penicillium (Excluded: Colorless Mycelia)
FK: Blue-veined made from cow’s milk with a rind or external coating

1st Rogue Creamery, OR
Rogue River Blue

2nd Spring Day Creamery, ME
Spring Day Blues

3rd Glengarry Fine Cheese, ON
Celtic Blue

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

1st La Maison d’affinage Maurice Dufour, QC
Le Bleu de Brebis de Charlevoix

2nd La Moutonniere, QC
Bleu La Moutonnière

3rd Valley Shepherd Creamery, NJ
Crema De Blue

H. ITALIAN TYPE CHEESES
Excluded: Mascarpone and Ricotta
HP: Pasta Filata types – Provolone, Caciocavallo – all milks

1st Saputo Dairy Products, QC
Provolone

2nd Sorrento Lactalis, ID
Whole Milk Low Moisture Pasta Filata

3rd BelGioioso Cheese Inc., WI
Sharp Provolone Mandarino

HY: Fresh Mozzarella – 8 oz. or more (Balls or Shapes) – all milks

1st BelGioioso Cheese Inc., WI
Fresh Mozzarella Thermoform

2nd Calabro Cheese, CT
Fior Di Latte

2nd Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, CA
Fresh Mozzarella

3rd International Cheese, ON
Santa Lucia Buffalo Mozzarella

I. FETA CHEESES

IC: Feta made from cow’s milk

1st No Award Given

2nd Karoun Dairies Inc., CA
Basket Feta

3rd Parmalat Canada, ON
Black Diamond Feta

IG: Feta made from goat’s milk

1st Karoun Dairies Inc., CA
Basket Goat Feta

2nd Shepherds Dairy Products, UT
Fine Feta-Plain

3rd Goat’s Pride Dairy at McLennan Creek, BC
Feta

3rd Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, VT
Vermont Feta

3rd Willow Moon Farm, VT
Feta

IS: Feta made from sheep’s milk or mixed milks

1st Hidden Springs Creamery, WI
Farmstead Feta

2nd La Moutonniere, QC
Feta

3rd Meadowood Farms, NY
Meadowood Farms Sheep’s Milk Feta

IF: Flavor added – spices, herbs, seasoning, fruits – all milks

1st Klondike Cheese Co., WI
Tomato & Basil Feta

2nd Neighborly Farms of Vermont, VT
Organic Pepper Feta

3rd Goat’s Pride Dairy at McLennan Creek, BC
Cranberry Caprabella

3rd La Moutonniere, QC
Feta with Herbs

J. LOW FAT / LOW SALT CHEESES
JL: Fat Free and Low Fat cheeses

1st No Award Given

2nd Fromagerie Le Détour, QC
La Dame du Lac

3rd Fromagerie Bergeron, QC
6% Pourcent

JR: Light/Lite and Reduced Fat cheeses

1st Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, QC
Empereur Light

2nd Cabot Creamery Cooperative, VT
Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar

3rd Tillamook County Creamery Association, OR
Tillamook Reduced Fat Monterey Jack

K. FLAVORED CHEESES
Entries are limited to cheeses not included in categories with “Flavor Added” subcategories

KC: Cheeses flavored with all peppers (chipotle, jalapeno, chili, etc.) – all milks

1st No Award Given

2nd Damafro, QC
Les Bouchées Saveur Mexicaine

3rd Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin, WI
Brun-uusto with Jalapeno

KP: Cheeses flavored with crushed or whole peppercorns or savory spices – all milks

1st Sartori Company, WI
Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano

2nd Fromagerie Bergeron, QC
Coureur des Bois

3rd Formaggio Italian Cheese Specialties, LLC, NY
Prosciutto Roll

KH: Flavor Added Havarti – spices, herbs, seasonings, fruits – all milks

1st No Award Given

2nd Klondike Cheese Co., WI
Dill Havarti

3rd Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
Havarti Jalapeno

3rd Edelweiss Creamery, WI
Onion Havarti

L. SMOKED CHEESES
LD: Smoked Cheddars

1st Parmalat Canada, ON
Balderson Double Smoked Cheddar

2nd Gold Creek Farms, UT
Smoked Cheddar

3rd Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, WA
Smoked Flagship

M. FARMSTEAD CHEESES
Limited to cheeses and fermented milk products made with milk from herds on the farm where the cheeses are produced

MA: Open Category for all milks – Soft (Aged up to 60 days – over 50% moisture)

1st Doe Run Dairy, PA
Hummingbird

2nd Fromagerie Au Gré Des Champs, QC
Le Pont-Blanc

3rd Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, LLC, WI
Petit Frere Reserve

ME: Open Category cow’s milk cheeses – Hard (Aged over 60 days – Less than 39% moisture)

1st Fromagerie Du Presbytère, QC
Louis d’Or

2nd Farms For City Kids Foundation, VT
Tarentaise

3rd Shatto Milk Company, MO
Gouda

MG: Open Category Goat’s Milk Cheeses aged over 60 days

1st Tumalo Farms, OR
Classico

2nd Chèvrerie Fruit d’une Passion, QC
Tomme des Joyeux Fromagers

2nd Yellow Springs Farm LLC, PA
Fieldstone

3rd Capriole, IN
Mont St. Francis

MF: Open Category for all Cheeses with Flavorings Added – all milks

1st Ruggles Hill Creamery, MA
Lea’s Great Meadow

2nd Valley Shepherd Creamery, NJ
Pepato Shepherd

3rd Coach Farm, NY
Coach Farm Fresh Goat Cheese Log with Dill

3rd Fromagerie La Station, QC
Raclette de Compton au Poivre

N. FRESH GOAT’S MILK CHEESES
NO: Fresh Goat Rindless (black ash coating permitted, extruded or in containers, cups, tubs, cryovac)

1st Laura Chenel’s Chevre, CA
Laura Chenel’s

2nd Montchevre-Betin, INC., WI
Crumbled Goat Cheese

3rd Mariposa Dairy, ON
Celebrity International Goat Cheese Original

3rd Woolwich Dairy, ON
Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Original

NP: Flavor Added – Peppers / Spice

1st Baetje Farms LLC., MO
Coeur de la Crème Three Pepper

2nd Mariposa Dairy, ON
Celebrity International Chevre Pesto

3rd Baetje Farms LLC., MO
Coeur de la Crème Garlic and Chives

O. FRESH SHEEP’S MILK CHEESES
Open to all shapes and styles of rindless, unaged, fresh sheep’s milk cheeses

OO: Open Category

1st Les Fromages du Verger, QC
Le Louché

2nd La Moutonniere, QC
Cabanon

3rd Shepherd’s Way Farms, MN
Shepherd’s Hope Original

P. MARINATED CHEESES
Entries include cheeses marinated in oil, vinegar, wine, etc.

PG: Open Category made from goat’s milk marinated in liquids and ingredients

1st Laura Chenel’s Chevre, CA
Laura Chenel’s Cabecou

2nd Happy Days Dairies, BC
Goat Cheese Balls in Herb and Oil 100g

3rd Carr Valley Cheese Co, Inc., WI
Sweet Vanilla Cardona

Q. CULTURED MILK PRODUCTS
Limited to Yogurt, Crème Fraiche, Kefir, Labne, etc.

QG: Cultured products made from goat’s milk

1st No Award Given

2nd Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Inc., CA
Traditional Plain Kefir

3rd Happy Days Dairies, BC
Goat Milk Kefir 500ML

QY: Yogurts, Plain – made from cow’s milk with NO additional ingredients

1st No Award Given

2nd Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Inc., CA
Lactose Free Lowfat Plain Yogurt

3rd Beurrerie du Patrimoine, QC
Plain Cow Yogurt

QD: Yogurts, Plain – made from goat’s milk with NO additional ingredients

1st Sierra Nevada Cheese, CA
Capretta Goat Yogurt Rich & Creamy, Plain

2nd Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Inc., CA
Plain Yogurt

3rd Beurrerie du Patrimoine, QC
Plain Goat Yogurt

3rd Coach Farm, NY
Coach Farm Goat Milk Yogurt, Plain

QE: Yogurts, Plain – made from sheep’s milk with NO additional ingredients

1st Best Baa Dairy, ON
Sheepmilk Yogourt

2nd La Moutonniere, QC
Royogourt

3rd Appleton Creamery, ME
Yogurt

3rd Valley Shepherd Creamery, NJ
Ewegurt

R. BUTTERS
Whey Butter, Salted Butter, Sweet Butter, Cultured Butter, etc.

RC: Salted Butter made from cow’s milk with or without cultures

1st Fromagerie L’Ancêtre, QC
L’Ancêtre Organic Salted Butter

2nd Parmalat Canada, ON
Lactantia Salted Butter

3rd Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, VT
Vermont Cultured Butter – lightly salted

RO: Unsalted Butter made from cow’s milk with or without cultures

1st No Award Given

2nd CROPP Cooperative/ Organic Valley, WI
Organic European Style Cultured Butter

2nd Parmalat Canada, ON
Lactantia Unsalted Butter

3rd Cabot Creamery Cooperative, MA
Cabot Unsalted Butter

S. CHEESE SPREADS

Spreads produced by grinding and mixing, without the aid of heat and/or emulsifying salts, one or more natural cheeses
SA: Open Category made from all milks – Spreads with flavors using a base with moisture higher than 44%

1st Kraft Foods, NY
Garden Vegetable Spread

2nd Kraft Foods, NY
Spinach Artichoke Spread

3rd Happy Days Dairies, BC
Probiotic Goat Cheese Spread 280G

T. AGED SHEEP’S MILK CHEESES
Caciotta, Romano, Manchego, Table Cheeses, etc.

TO: Open Category

1st Carr Valley Cheese Co, Inc., WI
Cave Aged Marisa

2nd Fromagerie Nouvelle France, QC
Zacharie Cloutier

2nd Hidden Springs Creamery, WI
Ocooch Reserve

3rd Lark’s Meadow Farms, ID
Dulcinea Extra Reserve

U. AGED GOAT’S MILK CHEESES
Taupinière, Rinded Log and Pyramid Types, etc.

UG: Open Category

1st LaClare Farms Specialties LLC, WI
Evalon

2nd Chèvrerie du Buckland, QC
Tomme du Maréchal

3rd Appleton Creamery, ME
Chevre Wrapped in Brandied Grape Leaf

V. WASHED RIND CHEESES
Cheeses with a rind or crust washed in salted brine, whey, beer, wine, other alcohol, or grape lees that exhibit an obvious, smeared or sticky rind and/or crust  – Limburger, Pont l’Evêque, Chimay, Raclette, Swiss Appenzeller or Vignerons-style, etc.

VC: Open Category made from cow’s milk

1st La fromagerie 1860 DuVillage, QC
La Tentation de Laurier

2nd Agropur Fine Cheese, QC
Champfleury

3rd Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, ON
Rose Haus

3rd Upper Canada Cheese, ON
Niagara Gold

VG: Open Category made from goat’s milk

1st Baetje Farms LLC., MO
Fleur de la Vallee

2nd Carr Valley Cheese Co, Inc., WI
River Bend Goat

3rd Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, ON
Cape Vessey

VS: Open Category made from sheep’s milk or mixed milks

1st La Maison d’affinage Maurice Dufour, QC
La Tomme d’Elles

2nd Best Baa Dairy, ON
Mouton Rouge

2nd Hidden Springs Creamery, WI
Ocooch

3rd Hidden Springs Creamery, WI
Meadow Melody

Elisabeth Bzikot of Best Baa Dairy receives a first-place ribbon for her Sheepmilk Yogurt while Lucille Giroux of La Moutonniere waits for a second-place ribbon for Royogourt.

Congratulations to all Canadian winners! They are shown below in alphabetical order with a summary of their winnings which accounted for 22.5 percent of ribbons awarded.

Agropur Fine Cheese
First-place ribbons – 4
Second-place ribbons – 3
Third-place ribbons – 2

Best Baa Dairy
First-place ribbons – 1
Second-place ribbons – 1

Beurrerie du Patrimoine
Third-place ribbons – 2

Chèvrerie du Buckland
Second-place ribbons – 1

Chèvrerie Fruit d’une Passion
Second-place ribbons – 1

Cows Creamery
First-place ribbons – 1

Damafro
Second-place ribbons – 2

Domaine Feodal
Second-place ribbons – 1
Third-place ribbons – 1

Farmers Cooperative Dairy
Third-place ribbons – 1

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese
Second-place ribbons – 2
Third-place ribbons – 3

Fromagerie Au Gré Des Champs
Second-place ribbons – 1

Fromagerie Bergeron
Second-place ribbons – 1
Third-place ribbons – 1

Fromagerie Du Presbytère
Best of Show – 3rd place
First-place ribbons – 1

Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser
First-place ribbons – 3

Fromagerie L’Ancêtre
First-place ribbons – 1

Fromagerie La Station
Third-place ribbons – 1

Fromagerie Le Détour
First-place ribbons – 1
Second-place ribbons – 1

Fromagerie Nouvelle France
Second-place ribbons – 1

Fromagerie Perron
Third-place ribbons – 1

Glengarry Fine Cheese
First-place ribbons – 1
Third-place ribbons – 1

Goat’s Pride Dairy at McLennan Creek
Third-place ribbons – 2

Happy Days Dairies
Second-place ribbons – 1
Third-place ribbons – 2

International Cheese
Third-place ribbons – 1

La fromagerie 1860 DuVillage
First-place ribbons – 1

La Maison Alexis de Portneuf
Third-place ribbons – 1

La Maison d’affinage Maurice Dufour
First-place ribbons – 2

La Moutonniere
Second-place ribbons – 4
Third-place ribbons – 1

Les Bergeries du Fjord
Second-place ribbons – 1

Les Fromages de l’île d’Orléans
Third-place ribbons – 1

Les Fromages du Verger
First-place ribbons – 1

Mariposa Dairy
Best of Show – 2rd place
First-place ribbons – 1
Second-place ribbons – 1
Third-place ribbons – 1

Monforte Dairy
Second-place ribbons – 1

Parmalat Canada
First-place ribbons – 1
Second-place ribbons – 2
Third-place ribbons – 1

Rogue Creamery
Best of Show

Saputo Dairy Products
First-place ribbons – 1

Upper Canada Cheese
Third-place ribbons – 2

Woolwich Dairy
Third-place ribbons – 1

For additional photos from ACS 2011 in Montreal, click here.