Last week, from March 7th-9th, was the biannual United States Championship Cheese Contest. This year’s contest was the most entered to date with a record setting 2,303 entries! Held at Lambeu Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin; the 2017 USCC featured several of our member cheesemakers’ delicious cheeses bringing home 21 total awards across their respective categories!
- Roth Cheese, of Wisconsin, left Lambeu Field with 5 of their cheeses earning Top 3 finishes, including a sweep of the top 3 in the “Smear Ripened Hard Cheese” category. Their Grand Cru Reserve won Best in Class in this category, followed by Roth’s Private Reserve earning the Second Award and Grand Cru Original rounding out the top 3 with the Third Award. Roth also took home Best in Class in the “Havarti” category for their Whole Milk Havarti, as well as the Second Award in the “Blue Veined Cheese” for their Roth Buttermilk Blue.
- Grafton Village Cheese, from Vermont, brought 3 Top 3 accolades back to New England. Their sheep’s milk, alpine style Bear Hill brought home Best in Class in the “Hard Sheep’s Milk Cheese” category. In the “Bandaged Cheddar (Sharp to Aged)” category, Grafton’s raw Jersey cow milk Queen of Quality Clothbound Cheddar Reserve captured the Second Award, and Queen of Quality Clothbound Cheddar securing the Third Award in the category.
- California’s own Cypress Grove Chevre returned to the West Coast with 5 Top 3 finishers across 3 categories. In the “Surface Ripened Goat Cheese” category, Humboldt Fog conquered with the Best in Class award and Truffle Tremor was close behind with the Second Award for the category. Cypress Grove’s Chevre Log won Best in Class in the “Soft Goat Milk Cheeses” category followed by Ms. Natural with the Second Award. Finally, in the “Flavored Soft Goat Cheese” the Third Award went to Sgt. Pepper.
- Jacobs & Brichford Farmstead Cheese, raw milk cheesemakers from Indiana, brought home the top 2 awards in the “Smear Ripened Semi-Soft Cheeses” category, securing Best in Class for their Everton Premium Reserve and the Second Award for their Everton.
- Oregon’s Rogue Creamery locked down 2 Top 3 finishes of their own. In the “Blue Veined Cheeses with Exterior Molding” category their Organic Caveman Blue achieved the Second Award honors. Rogue’s Organic Oregon Blue won the Third Award for the “Blue Veined Cheeses” category.
- Roelli Cheese, another Wisconsin home team, brought home the Third Award in the “Bandaged Cheddar (Mild to Medium)” category for their Roelli Haus Select Mild.
- V&V Supremo Foods, from Illinois, secured 3 awards across 3 categories. Their Oaxaca Ball triumphed the “Hispanic Melting Cheeses” category with a Best in Class award, V&V’s Cotija also received Best in Class in the “Hard Hispanic Cheeses” category. V&V’s Mexican String Cheese earned the distinction of the Second Award in the “String Cheeses” category.
The Oldways Cheese Coalition would like to extend a huge congratulations to each of our winning members on their championship cheeses! Stop by your local cheese shop today and grab some award winning American cheeses to enjoy and celebrate the delicious wonders of American made cheeses!
Daniel McElligott - Oldways Cheese Coalition Research Consultant