In addition to the cheeses previously mentioned in my Best of Show entry – all of which I loved – These are the other cheeses that caught my tongue at this year’s conference:
During the judging, I tasted this one and was blown away even though I had no idea who made it (and I assumed it was a Oaxaca). Braided Caciocavera from Loveras Market in Oklahoma? Ok, I see why I didn’t already know it. To make it even more special, I keep reading it as “Lovers Market” which seems extra sweet.
Next, a cheese we already carry and think is awesome, Boonter’s Blue from Pennyroyal Farmstead in Boonville, CA. A mix of sheep and goat milk (though not always) this is the kind of blue I think of as “Basque Style” even though I don’t know if it’s really true. Fudgy, medium-strength blue and you can taste the tang of the goat and nuttiness of the sheep milk.
Ten years ago, everyone would have been raving about the Florry’s Truckle from the Milton Creamery in Iowa. Now – with Jasper Hill, Fiscalini, Beecher’s, Avonlea, etc. – we expect North Americans to make amazing traditional style Cheddars. Still this is an awesome cheese from the folks who brought us Prairie Breeze.
Speaking of Jasper Hill, the Willoughby (this is a correction from the original post) right now…. Amazing. Rich, pungent, buttery, yeasty. Definitely in the running for Best of Show by my count.
And, made by Landaff Creamery and aged in the Cellars at Jasper Hill, the Kinsman Ridge is also pretty darn good. As you can see by how little is left.
And, last year I told you how awesome the Arabella from Jacobs and Brichford was. This year, their Overton blew me away. I don’t think I’ve ever had a US cheese that tasted so much like a well-aged Comte. I guess it blew me away so much that I forgot to get a picture so here’s the Arabella again.
Also, pretty much everything from Baetje Farms is can’t-miss. I do not think they can make a bad cheese.
That’s it for now. I am still going through my notes, but these are the cheeses that stuck with me, post-conference.By the way, this tag will let you see the cheeses I have written about as my favorites over the years: American Cheese Society Favorites.