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July 25, 2008
CHICAGO, IL — Cheesemakers of the Maine Cheese Guild (www.mainecheeseguild.com/MCG-build) won 7 ribbons including two blue ribbons for first place in their categories at the 2008 American Cheese Society (ACS – www.cheesesociety.org) Competition. Six different participating Guild cheesemakers won at least one award. The judging took place at the annual ACS Conference, held in Chicago, IL this year, and included 1149 cheeses entered from 187 North American cheese producers making this one of the largest U.S. cheese competition in history.
The winners from Maine competed in a broad range of categories and styles using cow’s, goat’s , and sheep’s milk, several of them organic. Because the competition provides useful feedback to cheesemakers from the judging in addition to the chance to win a nationally recognized award for their efforts.
The ribbons were awarded on July 25th in the Merle Reskin Theatre in front of hundreds of conference participants including many of the competing cheesemakers.
2008 American Cheese Society Competition Award Winners from the Maine Cheese Guild are:
–Soft Ripened Cheeses / Made From Goat’s Milk
— *Liberty Fields Farm, Saco Bay Dusk
–American Originals / Monterey Jack Cow’s Milk Cheese
— *Pineland Farms Creamery, Monterey Jack
–Feta Made From Sheeps Milk
— *Appleton Creamery, Sophia Feta
–Fresh Goat Cheese / Hand Shaped
— *Sunset Acres, Logs
–Cultured Milk Products / Creme Fraiche Made From Cow’s Milk
— *Silvery Moon Creamery, Creme Fraiche
–Aged Goat’s Milk Cheeses
— *Appleton Creamery, Chevre in Grape Leaf
–Farmestead Cheeses / Fresh Goat Rindless
— *Painted Pepper Farm, Dairy Delights Chevre Farmstead Plain
According to the ACS web site, in order to qualify for the competition, cheesemakers and their products must meet the following basic criteria:
* Entering companies must hold current membership and be “in good standing” with the ACS.
* Cheeses entered into the competition must have been available for sale to the general public at least 12 months prior to the competition.
* Cheeses entered into the competition must be characteristic of the accepted guidelines for the category in which the cheeses are entered.
Entries are judged by teams of technical and aesthetic judges, with each team scoring the individual entry based on a cumulative point system. In order to be eligible for a First, Second, or Third place ribbon, scores must meet a minimum number of points for each level. If no entries meet the minimum score for a placement level, such as first or second place, then an award is not given for that level.
Point total ties were recognized for second and third place, but first place ribbons were given only to a single cheese in each category.
The Maine Cheese Guild’s representation at the 2008 American Cheese Society Conference and Awards was generously supported by:
* The Maine Department of Agriculture
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