Did you hear? A Canadian won the 2009 World Cheese Awards , Le Cendrillon (“Cinderella”) from La Maison Alexis de Portneuf. Let’s hear it for North America! I’m not sure if winning a world medal is enough to clear US customs, but here’s hoping those of us in the States get a chance to try it soon. (Or perhaps I’ll have to send Jill on a mission across the border!)

American cheeses fared fairly well themselves. Out of the 2,440 cheeses, from 34 countries, the Americans earned 78 medals. A few highlights:

  • Cypress Grove (CA) took home several awards, including golds for Humboldt Fog, Purple Haze and fresh Chevre, and silver for Truffle Tremor and Fog Lights. Marin French Cheese Co. cleaned up with seven medals, probably the largest single winner outside of the major commodity cheese companies (see Sorrento and Sartori).
  • Smaller farms that stood out include Rivers Edge Chevre (OR) with two silvers, one for Sunset Bay (see below for the second); a gold for Estrella Family Creamery‘s (WA) Grisdale Goat; Bellwether Farms (CA) with silver for Carmody and bronze for Pepato; silver for Uplands Cheese Co. (WI) Pleasant Ridge Reserve; and gold for Crave Brothers (WI) Mascarpone. 
  • In small farms outside the traditional cheesemaking states: gold for Haystack Mountain (CO) Camembert; silver for Firefly Farms (MD) Cabra LaMancha; and bronze for Sweet Grass Dairy (GA) Asher Blue.
  • For “extra mature traditional cheddar,” Cellars at Jasper Hill earned silver for Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and Fiscalini Cheese Co. (review later this week!) a bronze for Bandage Wrap Cheddar.
  • And perhaps the most exciting categories, new cheeses (first marketed after 01/10/2008), a silver went to Rivers Edge Chevre‘s Astraea (pictured above) and a bronze to Willow Hill Farm (VT) for Vaquero Blue — two excellent cheeses I was able to sample this summer.
  • Click here for the full list of American winners, and here are the official winners lists.

And elsewhere in the caseophere…

  • Locally, in the Mid-Atlantic: WeLoveDC recently ventured across the river to explore Alexandria’s Cheesetique. (Astute readers may note that the picture, by yours truly, is actually of the old storefront.) Red, White & Bleu in Falls Church is now carrying Jamie Stachowski’s charcuterie, perfect for pairing with local cheeses. 
  •  Locally, in the Upper Midwest: A Simple, Good and Tasty Local Foods Dinner in Minneapolis this weekend featured Minnesota’s own Shepherd’s Way sheeps-milk blue cheese, among other scrumptious dishes. And the Wisconsin Originals Cheese Festival, coming up Nov. 6-7, is already sold out! 
  •  On the Cheese Blogs: I missed out on meeting the blogger from La Vie Soleil when we attended the same event recently in San Francisco, but was happy to learn about her from Bryce’s recap at Canyon of Cheese. Her home cheesemaking experiments are truly something to aspire to. Check out the Camembert she recently took to France to share with family …  gorgeous!

Calling all Cheesemakers: got news to share? email dccheese @ gmail.com to be included in our weekly news highlights.

It’s the last day of summer and fall is definitely in the air… and at the cheese counters, with cheddar, gouda and washed-rind cheeses settling in. Here’s what we’ve noted recently in the cheeseosphere.

* American cheeses made their first trip to Slow Food Cheese 2009, the biennial celebration of the world’s finest cheeses in Bra, Italy, this past weekend. According to the reports, the Americans were greeted with much enthusiasm and sold out early. Congrats to Rogue Creamery, Cowgirl Creamery, Vermont Butter & Cheese, Uplands Cheese Company (and others?) who were represented. You can see gorgeous cheese pics galore here (though the text is in Italian) or review the full cheese participant list here

* Not Eating Out in New York provides a recap of the Brooklyn Cheese Experiment and includes the recipe for the judges’ first place pick, Bonnie Suarez’s Spicy 3-Cheese Crackers.

* On the Cheese Blogs: The Cheesewench over at Cheese Is Alive recently spent a day at Jasper Hill Farms; check out all that sexy cheese goodness in their cellars! I can almost smell the Constant Bliss through my monitor…

* Fall Cheese Festivals coming up include October 3, The Wedge: Pacific NW Regional Artisan Cheesemakers Festival, in Portland, Oregon; and October 1-3 in the Canary Islands! (Who’s going? We’ll accept guest posts/cheese samples ;-).)

* In the Washington, DC, region — the new FreshFarms Market by the White House features *four* local cheesemakers: Everona Dairy (VA), FireFly Farm (MD), Keswick Creamery (PA) and Clear Springs Creamery (MD). The First Lady’s cheese choice? Camembert from organic-certified Clear Springs; Agriculture Secretary Vilsack opted for their chocolate milk.  The new fall class schedule is up at La Fromagerie; and CulinAerie will host a Cheese 101 class on Oct. 21. Visit our new “DC Cheese” event calendar to stay up-to-date on all the Mid-Atlantic cheese happenings.

* In the Twin Cities, MN, regionSurdyk’s cheese sale continues till Saturday; France 44/St. Paul Cheese Shop is selling Rosh Hashanah sandwiches with local apples, honey and clothbound cheddar or Stilton (yum!). Visit our new “MN Cheese” event calendar to stay up-to-date on all the upper Midwest cheese happenings.

Calling all Cheesemakers: got news to share? email dccheese @ gmail.com to be included in our weekly news highlights.

Noted in the cheese world this week…

photo (c) Oregon Bounty/Greg Robeson

photo (c) Oregon Bounty/Greg Robeson

* Be a Cheesemaker: We thought Jasper Hill Farm was clever with their luring in of eager cheese loyalists as willing labor; the Oregon Tourism Commission takes it a step further and uses hard labor at Rogue Creamery as a contest reward. We kid… who wouldn’t enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at Oregon’s most award-winning creamery plus a chance to get your hands dirty making cheese-filled truffles next door at Lillie Belle? Submit a video by next Friday, September 18 to enter to win this or one of the other “Cuisinternships” offered.

* NY Cheese Cook-off: In Brooklyn, NY, intrepid cooks will face-off this Sunday, September 13, in The Brooklyn Cheese Experiment, a cheese cook-off and home brew competition. Aside from the potential fame and glory of winning, a portion of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Ovarian Cancer Research. 

* A Buffalo Taleggio? You heard it here first: Taleggio is the in cheese for fall. Janet Fletcher declares Quadrello di Bufala, a new buffalo-milk Taleggio-style cheese from Lombardy, a “must taste” cheese, and Tia Keenan concurs, describing it as “faboosh.” Have you gotten your hands on it yet? Let us know! 

* On the CheeseBlogs: Welcome to The Cheese Freak! The newest blog to join the caseosphere, The Cheese Freak (@thecheesefreak on twitter) has launched a project to chronicle himself and friends geeking out over cheese via video posts.  

* Briefly Noted: The fall issue of Culture is on the newsstands, or at your local cheese shop, and looking fabulous; and join us in wishing Cheesetique in Alexandria, VA, a happy 5th birthday! 

Calling all Cheesemakers:
got news to share? email dccheese @ gmail.com to be included in our weekly news highlights.

Last week’s curd news and cheese recipes from around the web …

  • “The Governator proposes a huge tax on wine to save the CA budget deficit. What a stupid idea ….” http://bit.ly/KLRr  (RT @vinography)
  • Love is in the air … check out the “Wisconsin Cheese Cupid,” link. (RT @GenGreen)
  • What’s Bon Jovi eat on his pizza? Goat cheese & mozzarella (spotted at Posto in DC, @afabbri)
  • Keep warm with Vermont Cheddar & Ale soup, from Feel Good Eats.
  • We generally prefer to leave the cheesemaking to the experts, but @EndlessSimmer proves it can be done at home, too, link.

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