American Cheese Society Visits Denver
By Kim Reeder
Does it get any better than a huge convention hall packed to the brim with thousands of varieties of cheese? The answer is no. Tables at the Festival of Cheese were designated specifically for cheddar, swiss, spreads, blue, and beyond while cured meats of all sorts lined the exterior of the hall. Delicious spreads adorned each table while Colorado Ciders filled your cup. This was just part of the scene that was set at the annual Festival of Cheese that was put on by the American Cheese Society on July 29, 2017 at the Colorado Convention Center.
Hundreds of companies brought in over 2,000 cheeses from all over the country to be judged to see whose would reign supreme.
Several technical and aesthetic judges awarded a first, second and third place ribbon to 123 different categories of cheese and dairy products. From there the Best in Show award was revealed and this year it came from the open category of American Style cow’s milk cheese. Tarentaise Reserve from the Spring Brook Farm Team out of Vermont took home the top prize.
Considering how many entries there were this year, it was an impressive feat. Luckily for all the cheese lovers out there, once judging was complete the public was allowed in to partake in the festivities and taste the award-winning cheeses. Of course, no human can eat over 2,000 different cheeses but this reporter certainly made a large dent. I have never experienced so many cheeses at one time in my life. To be able to taste them side by side allowed cheese novices to really appreciate the slight nuances that make these products so unique. Who knew that cheddar aged at 8 years versus 3 years truly has a different taste.
The only downside is that the festival is in a different city every year so if you want to enjoy endless amounts of cheese then you will have to head to Pittsburgh in 2018 and although the Festival of Cheese may not be back to Denver in the near future it certainly left a lasting and tasty impression.
For a full list of winners and more information about the American Cheese Society please visit their website at http://cheesejudging.org/winners-2017/