If one needed any proof, the recent—and very well-deserved—success of American cheeses at the World Cheese Awards competition in Birmingham, UK, bears testament to the meteoric rise of artisanal cheesemaking in the United States over recent years.
The last two decades have seen a remarkable rise both in the number of people embarking on a career in cheesemaking as well as the number of cheeses produced. This fact is borne out in the crucibles of various cheese competitions with huge increases in the number of entries submitted each year. Not only that, but the quality and consistency of the cheeses is constantly improving too.
Today's competition and record entry of 2,785 cheeses for the 2012 World Cheese Awards was first whittled down to 55 cheeses that qualified for the prestigious award of Super Gold. Among them were (hurrah!) three cheeses from American cheesemakers: Baetje Farms, Jasper Hill and Rogue Creamery, with the latter two (with Harbison and Rogue River Blue) making it through to the final round of judging of only sixteen cheeses.
Rogue Creamery also went on to win Best American Cheese, with David Gremmels present to receive the award (see picture).