The following cheeses have been judged to be some of the finest cheeses available today. However, as I often say, your palate is right for you, so with that in mind, here is a list of some award-winning cheeses you may want to try. You can be the judge.
2018 Best Blue Veined Cheese World Championship Cheese Contest in Wisconsin, featuring 3,402 entries from 26 countries
This great cheese is very close in appearance and taste to an English Stilton. It has that same mild cheddar undertone with a nice deep blue vein. It’s sweet with a little saltiness yet nice and creamy at room temperature. It substitutes nicely for Stilton when served on a table water biscuit with sweet butter and a glass of Port.
Arethusa Tapping Reeve
2018 Best of Class, Natural Rind Cheddar, World Championship Cheese Contest
Tapping Reeve is a combination of cheddar and an alpine cheese. It’s aged for almost two years before distribution. It’s the first cheese we purchased from Arethusa Farms and we are glad to have such a great local product.
Tapping Reeve was a lawyer and judge who formed the first law school in our country in Litchfield Connecticut in the late 18th century. He educated scores of politicians and justices including Aaron Burr who served as vice president under Thomas Jefferson. Arethusa Farms honored him by naming one of their best cheeses after him.
Gold Medal Winner 2019 US Championship Cheese Contest, 2018 International Cheese Awards-Best USA Cheese, 2017 International Cheese Awards Gold Medal
This is just a few of the many awards this cheese has received. Bellavitano is a real favorite in our store, based on the amount sold and the repeat business. I describe it as a cross in flavor between a cheddar and a Parmigiano that has been bathed in Merlot wine which explains the deep red outer color. There is no rind on this cheese so all of that wine-soaked cheese is edible. This cheese has replaced Drunken Goat for us a long time ago because it’s much sharper and more flavorful.
2018 American Cheese Society Winner, Best of Show
This cheese is a domestic version of Vacherin Mont Or, a cheese made in Switzerland and France that’s only available certain times of the year. This Vermont version is available all year long. It too comes in a unique package surrounded by spruce bark. This bark not only adds to the flavor but it helps keep its shape. When served at room temperature the cheese gets very soft and would run like honey. The best serving suggestion is to leave the cheese in the bark, peel back the top skin and scoop out the cheese like a perfect fondue.
Harbison is a soft ripening cheese with a bloomy rind. It’s made from pasteurized cow’s milk. The bark comes from local Spruce trees which go through a process of peeling, drying, cutting, and boiling before it can be used. The bark is processed all year long so you may notice a slight difference in taste from summer bark versus winter bark. The cheese has a delicate, slightly woodsy aroma with a fresh sweet cream taste. It ends with a mushroom finish with a fresh hay aroma. The cheeses are aged approximately six to eight weeks before they are ready to eat. It’s produced in Vermont and ripened by Jasper Hill Farms in Greensboro Vermont.
Silver Medal, the Specialty Foods Associations 2018 SOFI (Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation) Awards
This is a big accolade, as the Specialty Foods Associations Show is one of the largest international food shows anyone in the food business can attend, and SOFI competitions are also international.
Kanaal is made from pasteurized milk that comes from free-range, grass-fed cows. They do not use GMO ingredients in production. Epicure Foods describes Kanaal as crunchy, with a butterscotch salty-sweet, candy-like flavor. This is due to the presence of Tyrosine, an amino acid that results from aging in certain cheeses.
Even though it tastes both salty and sweet, Kanaal contains neither added salt nor sugar causing this sensation. There are many cheeses that have salt crystals on the outside which is due to the cheese being brined when made. This cheese achieves a great crystalized flavor, despite its ripened age of only ten months.