ACS Providence 2015 Day 3

Downtown Providence was very quiet as I walked north to the convention center this morning. All of the award winners must have been sleeping in…


It’s true what they say: #WrinklesAreSexy. (Watch it here.)


This was a vertical tasting of two cheeses: Vermont Creamery’s Bonne Bouche, and Jasper Hill Farm’s Harbison (which also has a video of its own). General Manager and Cheesemaker Adeline Druart talked about the process for making and aging Bonne Bouche into the cheese she wants it to be every time for the customer who buys it. Vince Razionale did the same for Harbison. They are similar semi-soft aged cheeses using predominently Geo and P.c. as aging agents. However Bonne Bouche is Goat, Lactic Set, and pimarily Geo. Harbison is Cow, Rennet Set, wrapped in a boiled spruce sapwood band, and primarily P.c. in nature. Bonne Bouche is a week or two younger than Harbison at its peak, and tastes like a great Champagne when it is just drained — the first version of it was only 3 days after make, and had just been sprinkled with vegetable ash.
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Maine Wins Ten Awards at 2015 ACS Competition

Maine cheese makers won ten awards at the 2015 American Cheese Society Judging and Competition announced at this year’s ACS Conference in Providence, RI. The ACS cheese competition is the largest competition in North America and includes entries from the US, Canada, and beyond.

From among 267 companies submitting 1,779 entries seven Maine cheese makers won ten awards including four 1st place ribbons, four 2nd place, and two 3rd place ribbons. This is the most ribbons that Maine cheese makers have collected at a ACS competition since 2007 and it reflects the number of Maine cheese makers who could arrange to get their cheeses to the conference being held only a few hours drive from our cheese rooms.

First time competitors such Barred Owl Creamery in Whitefield, and Tide Mill Creamery in Edmunds won awards, as well as long time cheese makers like Appleton Creamery and York Hill Farm who have each won multiple ACS awards in past competitions.

Following are a list of the awards listed alphabetically by creamery name:

Appleton Creamery
1st Place in Marinated Goat Cheese for Chevre In Olive Oil

Barred Owl Creamery
1st Place in Sheep or Mixed Milk Feta for Organic Feta
2nd Place in Farmstead Cheese With Flavor Added for Hot Pepper Jelly Chevre

Fuzzy Udder Creamery
2nd Place in Sheep or Mixed Milk Plain Yogurt for Sheep Milk Yogurt

Swallowtail Farm and Creamery
2nd Place in Cows Milk Ricotta for Ricotta Salata
2nd Place in Yogurt With Flavor Added for Caramel Sea Salt Greek Style Yogurt
3rd Place in Cows Milk Plain Yogurt for Original Cream Top Jersey Cow Milk Yogurt

Tide Mill Creamery
1st Place in Sheep or Mixed Milk Soft Ripened Cheeses for Little Bloom

Winter Hill Farm
3rd Place in Farmstead Aged Less Than 60 Days for Tide Line

York Hill Farm
1st Place in Goats Milk Soft Ripened Cheeses for Ripened Chevre Roll With Ash

ACS Providence 2015 Day 2

Friday began with an early morning meeting among the different Cheese Guilds to talk about the work that the Guilds do and where the Guilds and ACS can help each other. I was very disappointed with the discussion last year and had heard that this year the ACS Board had identified that defining and strengthening the connection between the regional Guilds and the national organization was a priority. One of the newest members on the Board (Vern Caldwell from the Oregon Cheese Guild) had tasked himself the job of coordinating this effort.

After introductions (in which there were quite a few announcements of brand new or fairly new Guilds being formed in Washington State, the Rocky Mountains, and Pennsylvania) ACS Executive Director Nora Weiser explained that ACS wanted to be careful not to overreach in their relationship with the Guilds to make sure the Guilds did not feel manipulated by ACS. Unfortunately she could stay for only 30 minutes of the long-scheduled one hour meeting in which many of the Guilds asked for MORE collaboration with ACS, especially in a way that would help justify the $199 annual individual membership cost for cheese makers in the Guilds.
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