Guild Wins 17 Ribbons at 2007 ACS

Cheese makers of the Maine Cheese Guild won 17 ribbons including six blue ribbons for first place in their category at the 2007 American Cheese Society (ACS) Competition. Ten of the participating Guild cheese makers won at least one award. The judging took place at the annual ACS Conference, held in Burlington, VT this year, and included a record 1208 cheeses entered from 200 North American cheese producers making this the largest US cheese competition in history.

The winners from Maine competed in a broad range of categories and styles using cow’s, goat’s , and sheep’s milk, several of them organic. Because the competition provides useful feedback to cheese makers from the judging in addition to the chance to win a nationally recognized award for their efforts. This is the first year that the Guild organized as a group, with help from the Maine Department of Agriculture and other supporters, to generate as many competition entries as possible, which resulted in over 30 entries from Guild members up from 5 entries in 2006.
The ribbons were awarded on August 3rd in the Emerald Ball Room of the Sheraton Burlington in front of hundreds of conference participants including many of the competing cheese makers. Mid-way through the ceremony, after Maine Cheese Guild members had won several of their awards, the announcer commented to the crowd, “it’s nice to see so many new names appearing as winners this year.”

2007 American Cheese Society Competition Award Winners from the Maine Cheese Guild are:

key:Maine Cheese Guild Member, Location, Place, Ribbon Description, Cheese Name, Category Description, ACS Category

Appleton Creamery, Appleton, 1, 1st Place, Sheep Yogurt, Cultured Milk Products / Cultured Products Made from Sheep’s Milk, QS

Hahn’s End, Phippsburg, 1, 1st Place, City of Ships, American Made / International Style / Open Category Made From Cow’s Milk, DC

Oak Leaf Creamery, Kennebunk, 1, 1st Place, Roja, American Originals / Monterey Jack – Cows Milk, CJ

Pinelands Farm, New Gloucester, 1, 1st Place, Onion-Garlic Jack, American Originals / Monterey Jack – Cows Milk, CJ

Silvery Moon Creamery, Westbrook, 1, 1st Place, Tuscan Herbed Curd, Marinated Cheeses / Open Category Made From Cow’s Milk, PC

York Hill Farm, New Sharon, 1, 1st Place, Chevre Roll – Green Peppercorn & Nutmeg, Flavored Cheeses / Cheeses Flavored with Crushed or Whole Peppercorns or Savory Spices, KP

Hahn’s End, Phippsburg, 2, 2nd Place, Eleanor Buttercup, American Made / International Style / Open Category Made From Cow’s Milk, DC

Hahn’s End, Phippsburg, 2, 2nd Place, Ragged Island, American Made / International Style / Open Category Made From Cow’s Milk, DC

Liberty Field Farm, Saco, 2, 2nd Place, Feta, Feta Cheeses / Feta Made From Goat’s Milk, IG

Silvery Moon Creamery, Westbrook, 2, 2nd Place, Creme Fraiche, Cultured Milk Products / Creme Fraiche Products Made From Cow’s Milk, QF

Sunset Acres Farm & Dairy, Brooksville, 2, 2nd Place, Boulette (herbed) Fresh, Fresh Goat’s Milk Cheeses / Flavor Added: Spices Herbs Seasonings Fruits, NF

York Hill Farm, New Sharon, 2, 2nd Place, Chevre Roll – Black Peppercorn & Garlic, Flavored Cheeses / Open Category Made from Goat’s Milk, KG

York Hill Farm, New Sharon, 2, 2nd Place, Chevre Roll – Dill & Garlic, Fresh Goat’s Milk Cheeses / Flavor Added: Spices Herbs Seasonings Fruits, NF

Monroe Cheese Studio, Monroe, 3, 3rd place, Blue Thistle, Blue Mold Cheeses / Blue-Veined Made From Cow’s Milk, FC

Painted Pepper Farm, Steuben, 3, 3rd Place, Dairy Delights Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Plain (certified organic), Cultured Milk Products / Yogurts Made from All Milks, QY

Pinelands Farm, New Gloucester, 3, 3rd Place, Salsa Jack, American Originals / Monterey Jack with Flavors – Cows Milk, CP

Sunset Acres Farm & Dairy, Brooksville, 3, 3rd Place, Fresh Chevre Cranberry/Honey, Fresh Goat’s Milk Cheeses / Flavor Added: Spices Herbs Seasonings Fruits, NF

According to the ACS web site, in order to qualify for the competition, cheesemakers and their products must meet the following basic criteria:

* Entering companies must hold current membership and be “in good standing” with the ACS.
* Cheeses entered into the competition must have been available for sale to the general public at least 12 months prior to the competition.
* Cheeses entered into the competition must be characteristic of the accepted guidelines for the category in which the cheeses are entered.

Entries are judged by teams of technical and aesthetic judges, with each team scoring the individual entry based on a cumulative point system. In order to be eligible for a First, Second, or Third place ribbon, scores must meet a minimum number of points for each level. If no entries meet the minimum score for a placement level, such as first or second place, then an award is not given for that level.

Point total ties were recognized for second and third place, but first place ribbons were given only to a single cheese in each category.

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