Award-winning Vermont Cheeses

November 18, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Regional specialties

cheese plateVermont cheese makers are getting a lot of recognition for their excellence recently! And they deserve it… So, we’ve decided to review some of the recent competitions and to identify the award winners among Vermont cheese makers.
With this knowledge, you may be interested in following the famous “Cheese Trail” we have mentioned before… possibly with the help of the new book “Vermont Cheese Book” which has followed that trail for the pleasure of all.

And if you don’t have the book, you can check this map of the Vermont Cheese Trail for the places which welcome visitors (check the little flags on the map). It has been put together by the Vermont Cheese Council.

The first competition – the 2008 World Cheese Awards – took place in Dublin, Ireland last September. Cheese makers from all around the world attended and Vermont came back with a few nice awards!

The Vermont Butter and Cheese Co. – five awards for its goat cheeses: Vermont Chevre, Vermont Fresh Crottin, Vermont Creamy Goat Cheese, Vermont Quark and Aged Cheese Bijou and one for its Vermont Quark.
Grafton Village Cheese Co. – two awards for its Grafton Maple-smoked cheddar and Grafton Classic Reserve Cheddar.
Cabot Creamery Cooperative – one award for its Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (aged at Jasper Hill)
Willow Hill Farm – one award for its Butternut.

The 2nd competition – the American Cheese Society’s Competition – took place last summer in Chicago.
And the winners are:

Blythedale Farm Inc. – Vermont Farmstead Brie
Bonnieview Farm – Ben Nevis
Cabot Creamery Cooperative – Cabot Monterey Jack Cheese; Cabot Pepper Jack Cheese; Cabot 3 Year Old Cheddar; Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Aged at The Cellars at Jasper Hill; Cabot Extra Sharp Wheel; Cabot 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar
Consider Bardwell Farm – Pawlet; Manchester; Dorset
Dancing Cow Farmstead Cheese – Bourrée
Franklin Foods, Inc. – Hahn’s Neufchatel
Neighborly Farms of Vermont – Organic Jalapeno Jack
Shelburne Farms – Shelburne Farms Smoked Farmhouse Cheese
Thistle Hill Farm – Tarentaise
Vermont Butter & Cheese Company – Vermont Mascarpone; Vermont Feta; Vermont Fresh Crottin
West River Creamery – West River Creamery Marinated Feta

Other awards were received there for butter, cream cheese, creme fraiche, and cottage cheese.

The 3rd competition is the 2008 World Championship Cheese Contest, organized by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, not truly international though.
Both Cabot and Vermont Butter & Cheese Co. received awards but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to say precisely for which product.
Cabot Creamery Coop. – medium cheddar, low fat cheddar and cottage cheese
Vermont Butter & Cheese Co. – Vermont goats milk feta

And last but not least, the cover story of the September issue of “Wine Spectator” featured picks for the world’s top 100 cheeses with 10 from Vermont… by cheese makers including Jasper Hill, Cabot, Shelburne Farms, Grafton Village, Thistle hill, and consider Bardwell Farms. I did not read the article, so if you have, feel free to leave a comment with the precise list of cheeses who made the list, that would be great. I just know from a press release that Grafton Village Cheese clothbound cheddar and premium cheddar were on that list.

Finally, at the Summer Fancy Food Show, last summer, Vermont Butter & Cheese Co. was recognized for “outstanding product line”… quite a year for this artisanal cheese maker!

Well, with all this information in hand, I just have to wish you nice touring and good shopping (Christmas is coming afterall!).
For directions to Vermont Cheese Makers: Cheese Trail map
For more information:
Vermont Butter & Cheese cheese reviews (scroll down the page at this link to see the reviews)