U. S. Championship Cheese Contest 2013 - Northwest Winners

Results have just been announced for the U. S. Cheese Championships, held semi-annually in Wisconsin. After scrolling through the list, I'd have to say that the story in this year's competition is the performance of Wisconsin cheesemakers, who took the Championship by storm, including the coveted Best in Show prize. Northwest cheesemakers did not show as well as they have in previous years (see, for example, the 2009 results, where Oregon's Tumalo Farms took runner up to Best in Show) though results depend in part on who enters from year to year. Best in Show

Holland's Family Cheese Thorp, Wisconsin Mature Gouda

**** You can find a complete list of results here. Thanks to the organizers for making the results a little more user friendly this year!

Tillamook County Creamery Association (Oregon)

Cheddar, Sharp (aged 6 mo to one year) 1st place – Yellow Sharp Cheddar

Cheddar, Aged 2 yrs or longer White Aged Cheddar (placed 1st and 2nd)

Marbled Curd Cheese 1st place – Colby Jack

Pepper Flavored Jack 3rd Place – Jalapeno Pepper Jack

Rogue Creamery (Oregon)

Smoked Soft and Semi Soft Cheeses 3rd place – Smokey Blue

Soft & Semi-Soft Mixed Milk Cheeses 1st place – Echo Mountain Blue

Glanbia Cheese Co. (Idaho) note: Glanbia is an industrial cheese plant located in Gooding, Idaho

Bandaged Cheddar, Mild to Medium 1st Place - Bandaged Cheddar

Monterey Jack 1st Place - Monterey Jack

Marbled Curd Cheese 2nd Place - Colby/Jack

Gouda, Flavored 3rd Place - Gouda, Olives and Garlic

Pepper Flavored Cheese 3rd Place - Red Habanero Gouda

Reduced Fat Hard Cheeses 1st Place - Reduced Fat Cheddar

Reduced Sodium Cheese 2nd place - Reduced Sodium Cheddar

The following regional artisans also placed in the top 10 in their class: Briar Rose Creamery (OR)  6th Place - Soft Goat's Milk Cheese (fresh chevre) and 5th Place - Semi-Soft Goat Cheese (feta); Jacobs Creamery (WA)  9th Place  Brie, Camembert and Other Surface Ripened Cheeses (Bloomy)

Jacobs Creamery Introduces CSA Program


Lisa Jacobs of Jacobs Creamery in Chehalis, Washington recently announced (note: article requires login) that she will be offering her cheese and dairy products through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. For $125, $250 or $450, customers can purchase cheese, butter and eggs from Jacobs Creamery and ensure themselves a steady supply throughout the season.

If you're not familiar with CSAs, here's how they generally work: the consumer pays a specific sum up front and in exchange the producer/farmer promises to deliver products according to an agreed upon schedule later in the year/season. It's a way for small producers to make money earlier in the production process, freeing them from constant marketing to focus on what really matters - in this case, making cheese.

Here in the Pacific Northwest quite a few produce farmers sell vegetables through weekly CSAs (see Helsing Junction Farms in Chehalis, WA, for example) but this sales method has not been all that popular with the area's cheese community. The only other regional cheese CSA that I'm aware of is run by Quillisascut Farms of Rice, Washington. Anyone know of any others? A quick Google survey shows that there are a few (but not all that many) cheese producers nationally that offer a cheese CSA program  - see, for example, Shady Apple Goat Farm in Pennsylvania. The most commonly cited reason I've heard from producers for NOT doing a CSA is the time and energy required to administer the program.

This is a great opportunity to support a local cheesemaker. For more specifics on Jacobs Creamery's CSA contact Lisa Jacobs (info here) or catch her at the Portland Farmers Market on Saturdays.