The American Cheese Society (ACS) is launching a new certification exam, the ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test™ (Technical, Aesthetic, Sensory, Tasting Evaluation). The exam evaluates cheese professionals’ knowledge and skills in the assessment of cheese, from determining cheese condition and quality to evaluating cheese flavor, body, texture, and appearance. Individuals who pass the exam will earn the title of ACS Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator™, or ACS CCSE™.
The T.A.S.T.E. Test is the second industry certification exam offered by ACS. The first exam, the ACS Certified Cheese Professional® Exam, was launched in 2012 and has since certified more than 900 cheese professionals. Whereas the ACS CCP Exam® evaluates candidates’ understanding of core competencies common across the majority of cheese industry jobs, the T.A.S.T.E. Test is focused exclusively on the sensory and organoleptic assessment of cheese. It promotes the standardization of cheese professionals’ approach to communicating about these aspects of cheese, benefiting stakeholders at all levels of the cheese production and distribution chain, from cheesemakers to the consumers who purchase and enjoy their cheese.
The T.A.S.T.E. Test is divided into three sections: cheese identification, assessment, and evaluation; single attribute identification; and single flaw/fault identification. Candidates are evaluated against a rigorous and widely respected standard developed using methods employed by the American Dairy Standards Association. Those individuals who pass the exam will receive a lapel pin, embroidered patch, and a certificate, along with the right to call themselves an ACS Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator or ACS CCSE.
“We are excited that our T.A.S.T.E. Test will provide yet another opportunity for cheese professionals to showcase their expertise and differentiate their skillset. It also sets the standard with a common lexicon for how the industry defines and describes cheese,” said Nora Weiser, ACS’ Executive Director.
The ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test will take place on July 25, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA during Forged in Cheese, the 35th annual ACS Conference and Judging & Competition. Applications will be accepted from February 1 through March 30, 2018, or until spaces are filled. All candidates must meet a set of minimum eligibility requirements including work and/or education hours in the industry, or they must be an ACS Certified Cheese Professional in good standing. Due to the technical nature of its content, the exam is not intended for enthusiasts.
To learn more about the ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test, visit http://www.cheesesociety.org/certification/taste-test/