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As FSMA Takes Full Effect, Partnership Opportunities Abound To Improve Food Safety Practices by Larry Bell and Jim Mueller

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Raclette-Style Cheese From Quebec Tops ACS Competition

Raclette de Compton au Poivre, a Raclette–style cheese from Fromagerie la Station of Compton, Québec, Canada, was named First Place Best of Show among 1,596 entries at the American Cheese Society’s 2024 Judging & Competition.

Results of the competition were announced at a ceremony Thursday night at the “Cheese For Real” Conference at the Buffalo Convention Center. Judging had taken place in early June at the Huntington Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.

Fromagerie la Station, which submitted products to the ACS Judging & Competition for the first time, received a total of seven awards at this year’s competition.

The company’s Best of Show-winning La Raclette de Compton au Poivre has a coppery-colored washed rind surrounding the semi-firm golden paste with its line of pink peppercorns running through the center of the cheese. The aroma of apples and butter is enhanced by the pink peppercorns when heated.

The Second Place Best of Show went to Le Cousin, a Soft-Ripened Washed Rind cheese from Fromagerie Médard of Saint-Gédéon, Québec, Canada, while the Third Place Best of Show went to Flagship Reserve from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese of Seattle, WA.

This year’s ACS competition drew a total of 1,596 submissions from organizations across North America. The entries were judged across 133 different categories, resulting in 380 awards being distributed, including 117 first-place medals, 131 second-place medals, and 132 third-place medals to 142 organizations.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the outstanding achievements of these cheese makers,” commented David Lockwood, chair of the American Cheese Society’s Judging & Competition Committee. “Their dedication to craftsmanship and quality is truly inspiring, and we are proud to recognize their contributions to the cheese industry.”

First, second and third place winners in this year’s ACS competition are as follows:

FRESH UNRIPENED CHEESES
Fromage Blanc, Fromage Frais & Quark - Cow’s Milk

First place: Pleasant Lane Farms Creamery, Latrobe, PA, Quark
Second place: Shtayburn Farm Creamery, Rock Stream, NY, Quark
Third place: Urban Stead Cheese, Cincinnati, OH, Quark
Ricotta - Cow’s Milk
First place: Lactalis American Group, Buffalo, NY, Galbani Whole Milk Ricotta
Second place: Lactalis American Group, Galbani Double Cream Ricotta
Third place: Quality Cheese Inc., Woodbridge, Ontario, Bella Casara Ricotta
Third place: Maplebrook Farm, Bennington, VT, Ricotta Alta

Ricotta - Other, Mixed Milk
First place: Calabro Cheese, East Haven, CT, Ricotta Di Bufala
Second place: Idyll Farms, Northport, MI, Ricotta
Third place: Buf Creamery, Charlottesville, VA, Buf Ricotta Dibufala

Fromage Blanc, Fromage Frais, Mascarpone, Quark Mixed/Other Milk
First place: BelGioioso Cheese, Green Bay, WI
Second place: Schuman Cheese, Lake Country Dairy, Turtle Lake, WI
Third place: BelGioioso Cheese, BelGioioso Crema di Mascarpone
Crescenza & Stracchino - All Milk
First place: Narragansett Creamery, Providence, RI, Crescendo-Stracchino di Crescenza
Second place: BelGioioso Cheese, BelGioioso Crescenza-Stracchino
Third place: Lira Rossa Artisan Cheese, Moulton
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