Reflecting on Cheese in the Heartland
If you do not believe that getting “cheezed out” (in the best way possible) is a thing, then you probably have never gone to an American Cheese Society Conference & Competition. Recently, our Deer Creek team traveled to Des Moines, Iowa for the 2016 ACS Conference & Competition: Cheese in the Heartland, to join our friends and acquaintances in the industry for cheese festivities, cheese seminars, cheese awards, and not to mention cheese tasting!
After a day filled with meetings and seminars we attended the Meet the Cheesemakers event, which is a section of the ACS Conference & Competition where everyone can connect with some of the people who are making the competing products. Afterwards there was a lovely reception held at Maytag Dairy Farms. Surrounded by rolling fields of Iowa corn, we all enjoyed a barbecue pulled-pork dinner and drinks– which included a corn milk and tequila cocktail! As live music played, everyone relaxed and mentally prepared for the following evening’s competition awards ceremony.
The awards ceremony was full of nervousness and excitement for all of the cheese people in the room. Deer Creek’s The Stag took a 1st Place Ribbon in the Aged Cheddar – Aged over 12 and up to 24 Months Class, and The Imperial Buck took a 2nd Place Ribbon in the Mature Cheddar – Aged over 24 and up to 48 Months Class. Additionally our newest Cheddar, The Moon Rabbit, which is infused with and soaked in Chartreuse, took a 2nd Place Ribbon in the Cheeses Marinated in Liquids and Ingredients Class. We are so proud to have received these awards over the many submissions to this cutthroat competition!
After attending various seminars during the next day, our crew made our way into the Festival of Cheese, where all of the submissions to the competition and the award winners are on display and ready for tasting. So many fantastic cheeses, so little time to try them all!
A big congratulations to our friend, cheesemaker Chris Roelli of Roelli Cheese Company, whose delectable washed rind/alpine style cheese named Little Mountain won 1st Place Best of Show! What a huge honor– and what an amazing cheese! Also, we congratulate the rest of the winners in each category, as well as all the other entries, for making such great cheese.
All in all, this year’s ACS Convention & Competition was a great one, and we at Deer Creek are really looking forward to what 2017’s Convention has to offer out in Denver, Colorado!