The 2009 United States Cheese Championship took place earlier this week in Green Bay, Wisconsin (at Lambeau Field, in fact). Held every other year, this year's event attracted over 1,300 entries which were judged over the course of two days. While this contest tends to be dominated by cheesemakers from industrial sized cheese plants, artisan cheesemakers often enter the prestigious competition for the chance to be judged by the best experts in the industry. This year's buzz is all about Tumalo Farms of Bend, Oregon, which took runner up to Best in Show (that's 2nd place out of 1,300+ cheeses) for its Gouda style Goat's milk Classico - quite a feat.
Below are this year's artisan cheesemaker winners from the Pacific Northwest:
Classico First Runner Up - Best in Show & Best in Class - Hard Goat's Milk Cheeses
Fenacho 5th place - Flavored Semi-Soft Goat's Milk Cheeses
Mayor of Nye Beach 4th place - Surface Ripened Goat's Milk Cheeses
2nd place - Retail Packaging for Blue Wedges
Trailhead Best of Class - Open Class Semi Soft Cheeses