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Two cheeses, developed by Wegmans and fully aged in the company’s Cheese Caves, took gold medals in their respective categories at American Cheese Society’s (ACS) 2018 Judging & Competition.
Wegmans’ 1916 won gold in the Goat’s Milk Cheeses (aged 0-30 days) category, and its Professor’s Brie took the top spot in the category of Soft-Ripened Cheeses made with Mixed Milks.
1916 Aged Goat Cheese
Vermont Creamery’s French cheesemaker Adeline Druart worked with Wegmans to create this goat cheese, named for the year Wegmans was founded. Adeline’s team crafts fresh goat cheese into a shallow disk before it’s shipped to Wegmans Cheese Caves in Rochester, New York, where each is turned and cared for daily as the natural rind develops and the cheese ripens to perfection. The rind is nutty and yeasty, while the cheese itself is silky, creamy and sweet, with a delicate, refreshing tang.
Wegmans partnered with David and Sally Galton, owners of Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in Old Chatham, New York, to create Professor’s Brie, named in honor of David, a retired Cornell University animal science professor. The sheep’s milk is blended with cow’s milk to create a slightly milder flavor. After three days, Old Chatham sends the unripened cheese squares from their creamery to the Wegmans Cheese Caves, where they ripen under the watchful eye of Mattieu Callol, Cheese Cave affineur. “This rich, brie-style cheese has a dense texture and lingering mushroom notes, with a touch of pepper from the rind,” says Callol.
“Our own Cheese Caves make it possible to bring perfectly ripened and better-quality cheeses to our customers,” says Cathy Gaffney, Wegmans VP of cheese and deli. “They also enable us to work with the very best cheesemakers around the world and locally to create cheeses exclusive to Wegmans. It takes 18 to 24 months to bring a truly unique cheese to market, but you know it’s worth the wait when you taste 1916 or Professor’s Brie. I am incredibly proud of the people working in our Caves and in our stores and all they do to make our Cheese Shops amazing.”
Best of Show
Harbison from Cellars at Jasper Hill in Vermont was named Best of Show and is also available at Wegmans Cheese Shops.
Growing from just 89 entries 35 years ago, the ACS Judging & Competition this year welcomed 1,954 entries of cheeses and cultured dairy products from 259 companies representing 35 U.S. states, 5 Canadian provinces, Mexico, Columbia and Brazil. ACS awarded a total of 364 medals including 103 gold medals, 124 silver medals, and 137 bronze medals.
The results were announced at a ceremony on July 27 at the 35th Annual ACS Conference: ‘Forged in Cheese,’ held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
“This year’s competition once again featured the very best cheeses and cheesemakers in the Americas,” said Nora Weiser, ACS executive director. “This diversity of cheeses displays the skill and passion of American cheesemakers. In taking two top honors, Cellars at Jasper Hill exemplifies how American artisan cheesemakers seamlessly meld tradition and innovation,” said Weiser.
For a printable list of this year’s winners and judges’ biographies, visit http://www.cheesejudging.org. The 2018 ACS Judging & Competition media kit gives a complete breakdown of awards by product, dairy location and milk source, as well as producers’ contact information.
About Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
Wegmans is a 97-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The family-owned company, recognized as an industry leader and innovator, celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016. Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 21 consecutive years, ranking #2 in 2018.
About the American Cheese Society
The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leader in promoting and supporting American cheeses. At 1,800 members strong, ACS provides the cheese community with educational resources and networking opportunities, while encouraging the highest standards of cheesemaking focused on safety and sustainability. ACS strives to continually raise the quality and availability of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS proudly hosts America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. For more information, visit www.cheesesociety.org.
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