The Big Cheeses: Vermont makers awarded five Best in Class ribbons

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The Big Cheeses: Vermont makers awarded five Best in Class ribbons

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 1:23pm -- Anonymous

Vermont Creamery won a Best in Class ribbon for their Bijou, a surface mold-ripened goat’s milk cheese. Vermont Creamery photo.

Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Cheese Council (VCC), an organization dedicated to the production and advancement of Vermont Cheese, announced that 5 cheese companies, all members of the Vermont Cheese Council were awarded 20 ribbons including 5 Best in Class at the United States Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay, WI. The United States Championship Cheese Contest is the premier technical cheese, butter, and yogurt competition. 2019 marks the 20th biennial edition, hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association with over 2303 entries from across the US.  

This year, Cabot Creamery Cooperative teams in Cabot and Middlebury, VT won Best in Class ribbons for their Medium Cheddar (Cabot Team) and their Extra Sharp Cheddar (Middlebury Team.) The Cabot Team also picked up a second-place ribbon for their Extra Sharp Cheddar.  Along with their classic Cheddars, Cabot won ribbons for their 50% Reduced Fat Jalapeno Cheddar, and the Everything Bagel Cheddar, as well as Colby Jack Cracker Cuts and Cottage Cheese. The Cabot Team in West Springfield, MA, was awarded a Best in Class and a second-place ribbon for their Unsalted Butter, and a second-place ribbon for their Salted Butter. McCadam Cheese, Cabot’s sister creamery co-op in Chateauguay, NY, also picked up a second-place ribbon for their Sharp Cheddar. Cabot is a Certified B Corp whose business is “balanced by purpose and profit.” 

Vermont Creamery in Websterville, VT was Vermont’s second highest winner of ribbons at the Championship this year.  Vermont Creamery won a Best in Class ribbon for their Bijou, a surface mold-ripened goat’s milk cheese.  Vermont Creamery won third-place ribbons for their Fresh Crottin, Cremont, Coupole, and Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraiche.  The company also won a second-place ribbon for their Cultured Butter with Sea Salt & Maple.  Vermont Creamery is also a Certified B Corp.  B Corp businesses are required to consider the impact of their business decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment.

Jasper Hill Farm was awarded two Best of Class ribbon for Bayley Hazen Blue, and for Winnimere, a washed rind ripened soft cheese. The Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm was awarded a third-place ribbon for their Cave Aged Cheddar Cheese, a collaboration with Cabot Creamery Cooperative. Jasper Hill is in Greensboro, VT and in 2018 won top Best of Show awards for Harbison and Calderwood at the American Cheese Society Competition in Pittsburgh, PA.  

Grafton Village Cheese Company was also awarded two ribbons.  A second-place ribbon was awarded for Queen of Quality Clothbound Cheddar, a reserve cave-aged clothbound cheddar of limited quantity.  Grafton Village was also awarded a second-place ribbon for Bear Hill, a washed-rind, cave aged raw milk sheep cheese.  Along with top of the line raw milk aged cheddars and flavored cheddars, Grafton is recognized for its sheep’s milk and blended milk aged cheeses.

Grafton Village Cheese Company is located in Brattleboro, VT, and Grafton, VT.  The Grafton Village Cheese Company is part of the Windham Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of Vermont’s rural way of life.

Wegman’s Food Markets was also recognized with a third-place ribbon for its collaboration with Spring Brook Farm in Reading, VT for The Full Ver-Monty.  In recent years, Vermont cheesemakers have been working within the affinage system of producing green cheese to be aged by affineurs around the country.  The affinage system allows cheesemakers to have working capital and frees up cave space in their own facilities.  

Working with experts in cave aging (affineurs,) the cheeses can develop under very specific environmental conditions to bring out flavor and nuances in the final aged cheese.  This allows for very different stylistic variations in the cheeses. 

The Vermont Cheese Council is a statewide membership-based organization with 50 principal cheese- producing members and over 20 associate members.  The VCC is committed to promoting the advancement and quality of Vermont cheese through promotion, education and strong peer to peer support.  The organization has been in existence since 1992. For more information, please contact: Tom Bivins, Executive Director at tom@vtcheese.comor call 802-451-8564 or visit the Vermont Cheese Council website at www.vtcheese.com.  

Source: Randolph, VT. (March 11, 2019):The Vermont Cheese Council