|Winners in the Big E Gold Cheese Competition on display.|
The judges are your best teachers!
There are many ways to learn about making great cheese and one of them is by entering competitions. The feedback you get from the judges may be the best you have ever received.
There is usually a requirement that you are licensed to sell cheese.
If you make cheese, but you are not licensed to sell it, competitions are a good place to sample and analyze the winners. Almost all competitions provide some way for you to taste the award-winning entrys.
|Festival at the American Cheese Society Convention in Seattle, 2010|
The biggest competition in this country is the one held at the Annual American Cheese Society Convention every year-always in a different location. (2012 will be in Raleigh, NC, August 1-4.)
As a home cheese maker, looking to taste the best cheeses in every category, you can attend the Festival of Cheeses at the end of every conference.
All the cheeses are brought out, labelled and ready to sample. It’s always a fabulous celebration and well worth the cost of admission.
|Place to sample and buy the competition cheeses at The Big E|
Other competitions are smaller, but nevertheless worth supporting. Our regional fair (the Eastern States Exposition, known as The Big E) had their second annual cheese competition this year. The entry fee was $25.
Cheese makers from all around New England participated. Some were well known companies like Cabot Creamery and Vermont Butter & Cheese. Others were small farms, licensed to sell but not yet well-known.
The winners of the competition were posted in the “Cheese Shoppe” and any of the participants were invited to sell their cheeses there. A few samples were available at all times. It was a good opportunity for the new and smaller cheese makers to get exposure to the public.