After all the subcategories are decided, the judges walk around the room tasting everything that took a first place ribbon. We then vote for our top three choices and the weighted votes are then compiled to figure out the Best in Show and the two runners up. While I can’t imagine a non-cheese would ever win the Best in Show in the American Cheese Society Competition,* a few years ago when I judged the ACS Competition, I thought seriously about voting for a butter. One cultured product this year also made me think about putting it in my top 3.
Now, I’ve eaten Bellwether Crème Fraiche many times, but usually with stuff, you know? Tasting it straight really kind of blew me away. It was that perfect blend of rich, tart, fruity, milky flavors. Amazing delicate texture. I have raved about their yogurt and ricottas before, but I will now add this to the list of my NorCal favorites.
*Giving credit where it’s due, the awesome Kate Arding pointed me towards this anonymous bowl in the judging room. Right as always, Kate.