Expert judges at the 2017 American Cheese Society Contest awarded La Bottega di BelGioioso Artigiano® cheese with two awards at a blind judging in Denver, Colorado, last month. Artigiano received both first and third place ribbons in the flavored cheeses category, while BelGioioso Crema di Mascarpone™ took home a first place best in class award in the mascarpone category. The contest drew a record number of 2,024 entries.
Artigiano is a new cheese from BelGioioso, marketed under the La Bottega di BelGioioso brand. The wheels are carefully aged under the supervision of BelGioioso’s Master Cheesemakers to develop their deep nutty flavor and delicate crystalline texture. The cheeses are then soaked in an aged balsamic and cipolline onion marinade or hearty red wine blend to create two different varieties. Artigiano is also available in a Classico offering, without a marinade.
“These awards from ACS are greatly appreciated by our cheesemakers and their teams. We are committed each and every day to crafting consistently high quality cheeses for our customers to enjoy, and this type of recognition affirms that our cheesemakers’ dedication to their craft, as well as their expertise, continues at a very high level,”said Gaetano Auricchio, BelGioioso Executive Vice President. “Gianni Toffolon, one of our original Master Cheesemakers who came from Italy with my father over 35 years ago, wanted to create an exceptional cheese, and after a few years in development, it appears he has done just that.”
BelGioioso cheesemakers were recognized with a total of six awards in the contest.
· 1st Place Best of Class – La Bottega di BelGioioso Artigiano Aged Balsamic & Cipolline Onion – Flavored Cheeses Category – This pleasantly nutty and sweet Artigiano cheese is accented with a tangy balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy and sweet onions from Calabria.
· 3rd Place – La Bottega di BelGioioso Artigiano Vino Rosso – Flavored Cheeses Category –This pleasantly nutty Artigiano cheese is soaked in a hearty red wine, adding a layer of sweetness.
· 1st Place Best of Class – BelGioioso Crema di Mascarpone– Mascarpone Category – This fresh, soft cheese has a sweet, creamy flavor and is versatile in both sweet and savory recipes.
· 2nd Place – BelGioioso Parmesan – Italian Cheeses Grating Category – Its teasingly sweet, nutty flavor is the result of a 10-month aging in special caves.
· 2nd Place – BelGioioso Pesto Fresh Mozzarella Braid – Marinated Cheeses Category – Award winning fresh mozzarella marinated with fresh basil pesto.
· 3rd Place – La Bottega di BelGioioso Crescenza-Stracchino® – Open Fresh Unripened Cheese Category – A mild, creamy cheese with a touch of tartness.
With a whopping 15 new medals to its credit, Schuman Cheese is seeing the fruits of a growing focus on innovation and product development. Several new-to-market varieties earned acclaim, alongside the company’s flagship Cello brand and popular Montforte cheeses.
Three varieties from the just-launched Yellow Door Creamery Alpine collection medaled at the International Cheese Awards (ICA) competition; the collection also earned recognition at the American Cheese Society (ACS) Judging & Competition.
“Seeing our traditional cheeses earn recognition in the industry is gratifying because it means we’re consistently crafting quality cheeses that stand the test of time,” said Christophe Megevand, Head Cheesemaker at Schuman Cheese. “As exciting as that is, it’s also a real delight to see our newest cheeses capturing attention. Bringing exceptional new products to market takes hard work and patience, and these adventurous new flavors are showing us that the effort has been worthwhile.”
Alpine Altu, an earthy, nutty cheese inspired by Gruyere, won ICA’s Best USA Cheese/Washed Rind category, with Alpine Monteau earning a silver medal in the same category. Monteau, which combines intense fruity flavors with a hint of butter and hazelnut, went on to place third in the American Made/International Style Open category at ACS. Also at ACS, a third variety in the collection earned recognition. The Valis, tested under heat to prove its dreamy melting performance, placed third in the Raclette-Style category, under the Washed Rind division.
Bergamot & Hibiscus Rubbed Fontina, a brand new flavor in Yellow Door Creamery’s Hand Rubbed line, finished second in ICA’s Best USA Cheese with Additives category. These rich and creamy fontina wheels get their signature herbal and floral notes from a custom bergamot and hibiscus spice blend that is applied by hand. In the ACA Flavored Cheeses division, a sister variety, Tuscan Rubbed Fontina, also earned recognition with a second place finish in the Rubbed-Rind category.
Schuman’s Montforte cheeses have long been competition favorites, and this year was no exception. Montforte Blue topped the Best USA Cheese/Blue category at ICA, and Montforte Gorgonzola checked in a third in the same category.
A trio of awards for the Cello brand family rounded out the ICA competition. Cello Grated Parmesan finished second in its Grated Cheese (non-UK) category; Cello Fontal took third in the Best USA Soft/Semi Soft category; and the Cello Variety Pack earned a bronze in the Sliced Cheese (non-UK) category.
Schuman’s Cello Organic Copper Kettle Parmesan earned first place, while Cello Artisan Parmesan won third, in the ACS Italian Type Cheeses/Grating category. Cello Fontal took second in the Traditional Regional Cheese category, also in the Italian Type Cheeses division, and Cello Asiago finished in a tie for third in the same category.
The 120th International Cheese Awards at Nantwich combined nearly 5,700 entries from around the globe and 250 expert judges at the world’s largest cheese show. More than 50 different countries participated in this year’s contest.
Laura Chenel’s received two first-place awards and two second-place honors at the American Cheese Society’s 34th annual competition on July 28, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.
Laura Chenel’s Original Medallion placed first in the heavily-populated category of Fresh, Rindless Goat’s milk cheese (aged 30 days or less). The 3.5-ounce fresh chèvre was launched earlier this year along with four other varieties in the brand’s Medallion Collection, offering a unique size and package of fresh goat cheeses that’s the perfect size for a quick snack or practical to unmold and add to a salad plate.
Laura Chenel’s 5-ounce Goat Brie took first place in another popular category: American made, International style, Made from goat’s milk. The soft-ripened wheel’s creation begins with fresh local goat milk that is turned into curd, gently cut and poured into molds. After nine to 14 days of aging, Laura Chenel’s Goat Brie develops a thin bloomy rind and a velvety texture. Grassy and nutty flavors are balanced by hints of lemon and a clean finish.
Taking home second-place honors each were the brand’s 6.2-ounce Cabecou Marinated in Herbs and Spicy Cabecou. With a dense texture, goat cheese disks are hand-packed in olive oil with savory herbs or crushed chiles, respectively, infusing the flavors into the creamy yet tart rounds of chèvre.
“We are both honored and humbled that our fresh and aged chèvre cheeses continue to meet the judges’ expectations for superior products,” said Philippe Chevrollier, General Manager at Laura Chenel’s, Marin French Cheese, and Saint Benoît Creamery. “Laura Chenel’s has garnered 17 awards this year alone, testimony to our commitment to produce only the highest quality, handcrafted goat’s milk cheese…. The efforts of the entire Laura Chenel’s team, together with our collaboration with independent goat farmers in the western region of the U.S., have allowed us to become the standard for American chèvre.”
Sister companies, Marin French Cheese and Saint Benoît Creamery, were also award recipients at the 2017 American Cheese Society competition. Marin French Cheese won a third-place award for its Petite Jalapeño, a 4-ounce soft-ripened wheel that offers a smooth texture and creamy taste that nicely counterbalances the heat from the jalapeños peppers. Saint Benoît Creamery’s Original Yogurt also took a third-place prize in its category, appreciated for its exceptional taste and texture achieved with milk coming only from Jersey cows.