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American Cheese Society Competition 2014: Recap


ACS tasting

Last week was the American Cheese Society’s 31st annual conference and competition, held this year in Sacramento, California. We, along with what seemed like every other member of the cheese world, were there to witness the trials and triumphs of competition. Nearly 250 dairies entered 1,700 products to be tasted by 38 judges; check out the full list of winners, and see the surprising student-made Best in Show first-place winner here. Though a Vermont-based cheesemaker claimed the top spot, Wisconsin reigned supreme in other categories, claiming 97 ribbons by the end of the competition.

The lovely Adeline of @vermontcreamery with Bonne Bouche

The lovely Adeline of @vermontcreamery with Bonne Bouche

The event was open to the public on Friday’s Festival of Cheese, featuring cheese, beer, and wine samples, and on Saturday’s Cheese Sale, where curd-lovers could buy high-quality cheeses at steep discounts. The theme of this year’s fest was “Celebrating the American Cheese Plate,” which local restaurants showcased in full force.

Selection of Vermont cheeses at breakfast, yum!

Selection of Vermont cheeses at breakfast, yum!

Culture‘s very own co-founder, Stephanie Skinner, added her two cents about the American theme. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee, she said, “The American palate is getting more interested, more sophisticated about cheese. The cheese counter has become the darling of retail (sales in supermarkets).” It seems the general public would agree: reportedly, the artisan cheese community has blossomed to a 4.5 billion industry in the US.

Oakdale Aged Gouda at the Festival of Cheese.

Oakdale Aged Gouda at the Festival of Cheese.

 Were you at this year’s competition? Tell us about it on our Facebook or Twitter pages, and be sure to check out all our pics covering the event on Instagram.

Photo by Lezlie Sterling for The Sacramento Bee

Written by Alicia Hahn

Alicia Hahn is an online editorial intern for culture who excels at eating and enjoys writing, crosswords, and cooking (preferably with cheese). Originally from San Francisco, she moved to Boston for school and fell in love with the city (despite an annual campaign against winter). Her favorite place to be is the farmers’ market, where she finds weird and exciting ingredients to make or break her next meal.

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