- Mega grocery giant Kroger, Inc. today announced a deal with Murray's Cheese of New York to "expand Kroger's specialty cheese program." In the Northwest, that means you might be seeing a better selection of cheese at Fred Meyer and QFC stores starting sometime next year. [via serious eats]
- Sasha Davies of Cheese by Hand was a judge at this year's American Cheese Society competition. She recounts tales of tasting and spitting (or not) here. You'll find judge Gordon Edgar's tales from the trenches here.
- Speaking of the ACS, David Rosengarten seems to be little bit cranky about this year's competition results. In his August 8th 'Tastings' newsletter (not yet available online) he writes...
[After tasting the top three cheeses] I stepped back a bit and noodled it all into something a little surprising: this large panel of judges had come up with, essentially, a trio of middle-of-the-road cheeses (excellent ones, nevertheless) that everyone could love.
In a field with almost mind-numbing variegation.....why? Well, we can speculate away. Firstly, on a large judging panel, you may run into a few people who just don't like some of the quirkier entries--and the point totals of those cheeses will drop precipitously. Secondly....I understand that there's always a theoretical tussle between the two halves of the judge's committee: the technical judges, and the aesthetic judges. The former group, at its most dogmatic, will approach a gorgeous, say, bloomy white rind, runny, a real Camembert wannabe with great flavor.....and declare the rind technically imperfect, thereby putting the award-potential kibosh on a killer cheese. The aesthetes may look at an aged mountain-style tomme, massively healthy, that has been gorgeously constructed, and is supernaturally balanced--but, because they get no deep thrills from it, may shoot down the technician's claim of "brilliance."]
- Also over at Serious Eats, Jamie gives us more information about the ACS Best In Show winner, Leelanu Aged Raclette. According to this article, the Raclette received a perfect score of 100 in the competition. Cheesemakers Ann and John Hoyt have been swamped with phone calls (not surprisingly) from buyers trying to get their hands on some.