Vermont Creamery products earned seven awards at the 2014 American Cheese Society Judging & Competition this week, including first place for Bijou and Feta. This is the second award for Bijou this summer, which also earned a gold sofi at the Fancy Food Show in June.
Vermont Creamery joined 16 other Vermont cheesemakers who together took home 34 awards for the Green Mountain State, including Best of Show for Farm’s For City Kids’ Tarentaise Reserve. The annual competition is considered one of the world’s most influential and prestigious in the artisanal and specialty cheese industry. Vermont Creamery’s Bijou and Feta both earned first place in their respective categories, with Bonne Bouche, Coupole, and Cultured Butter with Sea Salt & Maple taking second place awards. The Creamery’s Crème Fraîche and Unsalted Cultured Butter placed third. In addition, Torus, a cheese made by Vermont Creamery and aged in New York by Murray’s Cheese, earned second place.
Vermont Creamery was one of only five cheesemakers out of 248 to earn seven or more awards at this year’s competition. “Four awards for our geotricum rinded cheeses is tremendously exciting,” said Allison Hooper, Co-owner and Co-founder of Vermont Creamery. “These are very special cheeses that were once unique to European cheesemakers and are now gaining popularity and recognition in the United States.”
The American Cheese Society Competition is held annually during the organization’s conference. This year’s winners were chosen from 1685 entries representing 248 companies from the United States, Canada, and Columbia. Combining the European tradition of cheesemaking with Vermont’s terroir, Vermont Creamery’s line of fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter, and crème fraîche have won over 100 national and international awards.
In its 30th year of business, Vermont Creamery supports a network of more than 15 family farms, promoting sustainable agriculture in the region. B Corp Certified in 2014, Vermont Creamery is the founder of Ayers Brook Goat Dairy, the country’s first demonstration goat dairy. For more information, visit www.vermontcreamery.com.
Jeremy Stephenson, Cheese Program Director of Farms for City Kids Foundation, said of the Best of Show win, “The more I’m involved in this work, the more it becomes clear to me that what we’re doing is so much a part of agriculture and working to develop a new sustainable food system. We’re a small part of that. When we do this work we have to remember we’re part of something much bigger than an individual or individual farm, we’re a part of a community. The people that buy our cheese are supporting something very important for the future.”
The 2014 ACS Judging & Competition saw 1,685 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 248 companies. Entering companies represented 39 U.S. states, 4 Canadian provinces, and Colombia. 325 ribbons were awarded: 89 first place ribbons, 109 second place ribbons, and 127 third place ribbons.
For tie full list of this year’s winners and judges’ bios, visit www.cheesejudging.org.
The 32nd Annual ACS Conference & Competition will take place July 29 – Aug. 1, 2015, in Providence, Rhode Island.
Kingdom Organic Cheddar, one of the newest entries into the U.S. cheese market, captured three top honors this week at the prestigious International Cheese Awards competition held in Nantwich, England.
In competition featuring 4,443 cheeses from 26 countries, Kingdom Organic Cheddar won Gold Awards for Farmhouse/Traditional Mature Cheddar, Export Award, and Cheddar/Cheddar Style.
“The judges at the International Cheese Awards validated what we have known all along: Kingdom isn’t just the only organic European cheese in the U.S. Market, it is the top cheddar in the world,” said Nicola Turner, Export Director at the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo,) the organic dairy farmers’ co-op that manages the production of Kingdom Cheese.
Kingdom is a traditionally handcrafted cheddar, made exclusively with milk from a small number of organic family farms located in Devon, in the Southwest of England. The temperate climate and ample moisture in this region creates pastures of lush grasses which impart a unique flavor to the milk.
“Our cows are kept on a simple grass based system with little or no stress, giving us beautiful, natural milk,” said Geoff Thorne, one of the farmers who produces milk for Kingdom Cheddar. “Our cows are on pasture more than 10 months each year with green grass comprising more than 80 percent of their diets.”
The International Cheese Awards is considered one of the most rigorous competitions for cheese makers around the world. More than 200 judges spend two days selecting the world’s top cheeses.
Kingdom Organic Cheddar is available in many Whole Foods Markets, HyVee Markets, select Costco stores, and other natural and specialty retailers. A listing of retailers carrying Kingdom Organic Cheddar is available at: http://www.kingdomcheddar.com/contact-us/stockists/.
Litehouse® Foods has long been known for its nationally acclaimed blue cheese as well as its dips and salad dressings and is now announcing the launch of a new line of handcrafted cheese into retail deli. The Simply Artisan Reserve™ Line features ten ready-to-serve products, from Crumbles to Crafted Wheels.
“Our company has a long, proud history of crafting outstanding cheese products and we are eager to share our latest artisanal creations that we are confident consumers will value for taste, quality and convenience,” said Margi Gunter, Litehouse Foods Brand Manager. “Our master cheesemakers have created a gourmet product line for deli cheese lovers in easy-to-serve packages.”
The Simply Artisan Reserve cheeses are prepared in open air vats in small batches and are handcrafted and hand-salted for a gourmet taste. All of the Simply Artisan Reserve products are rBST and gluten-free and use single source milk. The line includes:
Initial product sell-through has been excellent since the products’ initial rollout in June,” said Gunter. The company is anticipating introducing additional SKUs and flavors as demand continues to increase.
Castleton Crackers “Governor’s Cheddar” has won the 2014 sofi™ Award for Outstanding Cracker from the Specialty Food Association. A sofi is the top honor in the $88.3 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation.
Governor’s Cheddar Crackers was one of 125 finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from a record-setting 2,737 entries across 32 awards categories including Outstanding Chocolate, Cheese, and Snack Food. Winners were announced June 30, 2014 by internationally-acclaimed Chef Dominique Ansel at a red-carpet ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.
“I was honored that my Governor’s Cheddar Crackers were nominated, but when I saw the winning picture of my crackers on the big screen it was an amazing feeling,” said Whitney Lamy, founder of Castleton Crackers. “To know that retailers and food service buyers vote for the Gold winners right here at the Summer Fancy Food Show makes this award even more valuable. This is a delicious combination of Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company’s award-winning Governor’s Cheddar cheese and my artisan cracker recipe,” says Lamy. Lamy’s complete Castleton Cracker line is sold at grocery and specialty stores throughout the country and online at castletoncrackers.com.
By Lorrie Baumann
The British government settled its own controversy about the sanitation of cheeses aged on wood a decade ago, and government regulators there have come down on the side of permitting cheese makers to age their cheeses as they think best, says the Right Honorable Owen Paterson, British Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. “It should be the cheese manufacturers who decide what to do. They’ve got a long history,” he said. “We believe very strongly that people should be responsible for their own production systems. What counts is the outcome.”
The outcomes that count should be that food should be safe to eat and it should taste good, and the British government has decided that the way to achieve that is to let the experts who are making the products decide how to get to that goal, and the government learned that through its own missteps in trying to regulate cheese production methods, he said. “Cheese is not suited to being produced on plastic. It sweats,” he said. “It’s a natural product, and it sweats.”
Paterson stopped in to promote British food at the Summer Fancy Food Show on his way to a meeting with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, with whom he’s negotiating a trade agreement that he says he’s “mad keen” to get through as a step in opening up the American market to more food imports from the European Union. He says that British food producers are well positioned to capitalize on access to the American market. Americans ar already enthusiastic about British products and are already purchasing $3.5 billion/year worth of British food products — about 10 percent of British food exports. British food production is a $170 billion/year industry that employs just under 4 million people. “It’s by far the most innovated food sector in Europe,” Paterson said. As an example of how fast British food production is growing, he points to Walkers, which has gone from a small family bakery with 16 employees baking shortbread cookies to a large enterprise that currently employs 1,600 people in a business that’s based primarily on exports. And shortbread isn’t the only Scottish product that’s enjoying the world’s good opinion, he said. “The French drink more Scotch whisky in a month than the French drink French cognac in a year,” he said. “We’ve got more varieties of cheese than the French have.”
The British dairy industry has been deregulated and is poised for growth at a time when world demand for dairy products is growing hugely, Paterson said. “We’re ideally placed to take advantage of it,” he said. “I opened the world’s largest fresh milk dairy inn Aylesbury last week.” Britain is home to the only USDA cheese producer in Europe, which introduced the Kingdom brand of cheddar cheese in the U.S. late last year. The milk in Kingdom Cheddar comes from a small group of organic family farmers in South-West England, where cheddar cheesemaking first began in the 12th century. “We use old-world artisan techniques, conducted under today’s exacting organic standards, which makes for an exceptional product,” said Nicola Turner, Export and Marketing Director at the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo,) the largest organic dairy farmers’ co-operative in the UK. OMSCo manages the production of Kingdom Cheddar.
Paterson recommends the Kingdom Cheddar along with other British cheeses, which are made with a long history of cheese production, very modern plants with rigorous production standards and a great deal of innovation in presenting new varieties and flavors of cheeses onto the market, he said. “These guys are really motoring, and there’s potentially a huge market.”
Along with cheese, Paterson aims to provide new opportunities for British meat exports into the U.S. Americans are ready to eat British beef again, he said. “They love eating British beef when they come to London,” he said. Britain has the landscape and the beef breeds, including the Aberdeen Angus, to export high-quality grass-fed beef to an American public that will welcome it, he said. And after he’s gotten beef coming to America, his next step will be to follow up with lamb. “There are a lot of Americans of Scottish descent who are being prevented from exercising their ancestral right to eat haggis,” he said.
Compared to other top-selling cow’s milk ice creams, LaLoo’s Vanilla Snowflake has about half the calories, one-third the fat, is seven grams lower in sugar for folks watching their glycemic index and is easier to digest since goat milk is naturally lower in lactose and the fat particles are smaller in goat’s milk than in milk from cows.
To encourage millions of ice cream fans across America to “Give Goat a Chance” this summer, LaLoo’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream is offering the chance to win an ice cream social party and other goat goody prizes to everyone who follows LaLoo’s on Facebook or Twitter (@LaloosIceCream) and shares an ice cream moment, photo or memory using hashtag #GoGoat throughout National Ice Cream Month in July. Prizes include a “Go Goat” Ice Cream Social party for 20, hosted by LaLoo’s; 10 goat goody packages consisting of a cooler full of LaLoo’s, a “Give Goat a Chance!” t-shirt, and a “Get Your Goat On!” tote bag; and daily free pint coupon winners.
LaLoo’s is available nationwide in four gourmet flavors, including: Deep Chocolate – rich dark chocolate ganache made with volcanic black cocoa and raw bittersweet cacao from acclaimed chocolate maker Scharffen Berger (77 percent cacao) – truly a chocolate lover’s dream; national award-winning Vanilla Snowflake, so delicate and yet so creamy you can serve it with everything from fresh berries to gazpacho (called “the holy grail” of ice cream by the Wall Street Journal); Rumplemint, which combines fresh organic garden mint (not peppermint) with a bold excess of dark chocolate tiles, slow churned for extra creaminess; and Capraccino, a gold medal-winning coffee ice cream made from real Italian expresso beans. To find LaLoo’s at a store near you, go to: laloos.com/shop. Attendees at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City June 29 through July 1 can get their goat on with LaLoo’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream in LaLoo’s booth #4066.
Founder “LaLoo” (Laura Howard, based in Petaluma, Calif., who is also Founder of the Lexicon of Sustainability) has some great new recipes and real simple serving suggestions to help you get your goat on this summer that you’ll find at blog.laloos.com, like “Lemonade Stand” – just add lemonade powder on LaLoo’s Vanilla Snowflake (her daughter’s favorite); fresh berries macerated in Prosecco atop LaLoo’s Deep Chocolate for the 21+ crowd; and Capraccino topped with Honey Sesame Brittle.
Sartori Cheese is releasing a new family heirloom cheese, 18 month BellaVitano, this July. In honor of the company’s 75th Anniversary, this exclusive cheese will be available on a limited basis for the remainder of 2014.
Up until the release, Sartori’s 18 month BellaVitano had previously been set aside for family. Now, the Sartori family wants to share this special cheese with all. “It’s our 75th anniversary this year and we wanted to find additional ways to share our history with others. We thought maybe we could share a family treasure, and that’s when we decided to release our 18 month BellaVitano,” stated CEO and third generation owner, Jim Sartori.
Sartori’s 18 month BellaVitano cheese has wonderfully fruity, caramelized nutty flavors. “We test the cheese at various times throughout the aging process. As the cheese matures, the flavors become more pronounced and the texture of the cheese alters. This cheese is creamy, yet crumbly due to the aging,” stated Sartori Master Cheesemaker, Mike Matucheski.
Debuting in July, this extra-aged cheese will be available only for the remainder of the year. It will be sold across the nation in specialty cheese retail shops and online at Sartori’s cheese shop, sartoricheese.com. For additional news and updates, follow Sartori on Facebook and Twitter @Sartori_Cheese.
The specialty cheese group of Saputo Cheese USA Inc. is launching seven new specialty cheese items this June. Additionally, a variety of value added enhancements are being unveiled under the Nikos® brand of domestically-produced feta cheeses. All of the new items can be viewed in the company’s booth #1836 at the Summer Fancy Food Show, June 29 – July 1, in New York City.
The Stella® brand of fine artisan cheeses has been crafted with a rich heritage of Italian cheesemaking using authentic old-world recipes since 1923. The line’s three most recent additions are available in half wheels that have been carefully hand-rubbed with a tantalizing array of herbs and spices in the following varieties: Mediterranean Parmesan, Rosemary Medium Asiago and Black Pepper Romano.
For consumers seeking premium aged Cheddar cheeses, the Black Creek® cheese line now offers a delightful Double Smoked Cheddar cheese as well as a Cheddar Jam Tray featuring a flavorful combination of three-year cheddar cheese with orange marmalade and raspberry preserves.
Joan of Arc® goat cheeses are known for their delightfully tangy flavor and fresh aftertaste. The new Goat Cheese Trio includes a complementary collection of Traditional, Tomato Basil and Wild Honey goat cheeses in a beautifully boxed three-pack.
Great Midwest® cheeses are perennial award-winners. The line’s newest offering —the Winners Cheese Flight — includes three of the brand’s most recent American Cheese Society and World Cheese Expo winners (Morel & Leek, Salsa and Habanero flavored Jack cheeses) conveniently packaged in a beautiful box.
A full line of distinctive Mediterranean-style regular, fat free and flavored fetas are offered under the Nikos® brand, keeping dining options fresh and healthy. A series of value-added enhancements has been made to the line, making it even more appealing to consumers. Nikos® cheeses are now rBST-free, certified Halal and shipped via sustainably configured pallets.
Full details about all of the new product offerings can be found on the specialty cheese group’s website: www.SaputoSpecialty.com. Retailers interested in placing orders for the new items can contact a Saputo Cheese sales representative by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-782-0741.