Greensboro, Vt. (July 25 2006) – Not since Lewis & Clark has a pioneering partnership yielded such accolades. Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, a cooperative venture of Vermont cheesemakers Cabot Creamery and Jasper Hill Farm, was named “Best of Show” at the 23rd Annual Conference and Competition of the American Cheese Society (ACS), held this year in Portland, Oregon.
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar was awarded first place for “Aged Cheddars, All Milks (Aged Between 12 & 24 Months).” Then, in a second judging exclusively of blue ribbon winners from the 22 categories, Cabot Clothbound bested a very competitive field to earn Grand Champion.
“The success for Cabot Clothbound highlights the significance of both the creation and maturing of artisanal cheeses. It’s only natural that Vermont would provide America’s first shining example of the benefits from this kind of collaboration,” said Rich Stammer, president of Cabot.
The contest this year featured a record 941 entries – nearly 200 more than any previous ACS competition – from 157 producers representing 28 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Twelve teams of two judges each selected the finest North American-made dairy products based on both technical and aesthetic traits. For details, please visit www.cheesesociety.org.
“Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is a marvel of milk, master cheesemaking and artful aging,” said Cabot cheese maestro Marcel Gravel. Made one vat at a time, from the milk of purely Holstein cows, the result is a singular, Old World style cheddar. A special, proprietary blend of cheese cultures gives an unpasteurized note to this pasteurized milk cheddar.
Traditional hooping and clothbound curds are just the beginning of this vanguard, Vermont collaboration. After creation, the wheels journey north along the Revolutionary War-era Bayley-Hazen Road into the care of Andy and Mateo Kehler, fellow Vermont cheesemakers and affineurs, and owners of The Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm. “Here, the cave-aged wheels benefit from spa-like pampering and controlled, mold-ripened maturing to develop their beautiful, natural rind,” said Mateo Kehler, co-owner of Jasper Hill Farm. “It’s all about spruce boards, hand turning and tender brushing.”
The cheddar’s texture and flavor owe their balance and subtle tones equally to both parts of this dual team effort: traditional clothbound cheddar made at the historic creamery in Cabot and lovingly matured in Greensboro among the hills above Caspian Lake.”
It has been an exciting summer for Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. In addition to the ACS awards, Cabot Clothbound was also judged a finalist for “Outstanding Cheese or Dairy Product” at the 2006 Products Awards of the International Fancy Food Show in New York, earlier in July. In June, this cheese was a silver medal winner – the highest scoring U.S. cheddar – at the World Cheese Awards held in London, England.
The attention has made the scarce, allocated inventory even more prized, and has added additional enthusiasm to expansion efforts already planned for Jasper Hill Farm’s cellars. Once capacity is increased in the aging facility, greater availability of Cabot Clothbound is expected to follow in early 2008.
In addition to the Grand Champion award, Jasper Hill Farm and Cabot Creamery won a combined total of eight ACS ribbons for cheeses and dairy products, half of them for first place (see list attached). This effort anchored a strong showing of 28 total ribbons earned by a dozen Vermont cheese makers, including eight blue ribbons. For more information, please visit the Vermont Cheese Council at www.vtcheese.com.
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919 and is best known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar.” Cabot is owned by the dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s premier dairy cooperative. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, you are invited to visit www.cabotcheese.coop.
Jasper Hill Farm is owned and operated by brothers Mateo and Andy Kehler. Nestled into the hills of Vermont’s beautiful Northeast Kingdom, Jasper Hill Farm has succeeded in establishing itself as a premier producer of farmstead cheese with a reputation for consistency and quality. In operation since 2003, Jasper Hill is bringing new definition to the potential of value-added farmstead production. Please visit their website at www.jasperhillfarm.com.
Media Contact Information:
Jed Davis Mateo Kehler
Cabot Creamery Cooperative Jasper Hill Farm
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