Cheese Bytes Masthead 2010
In This Issue...
ACS 2012 in Raleigh, NC
2011 Conference Presentations
American Cheese Month
ACS at the Great American Beer Festival
2011 Good Food Awards
Recipe: Heirloom Tomato & Lemon Mascarpone Tart
Member Milestones
Savoring Memories of Montréal
Active Members Activate ACS
2011 ACS Winners
Record-Breaking Competition
2011 Academy of Cheese
Certification Exam Update
Ask Dr. Cheese: Sheep's Milk Cheeses
Stay Connected to ACS
Save the Date for ACS 2012 in Raleigh, NC!

The ACS Conference & Competition will return to the U.S. in 2012. Events will take place in Raleigh, North Carolina from August 1-4.


The ACS team and Co-Chairs Dick Roe and Dr. MaryAnne Drake are already hard at work ensuring that the Raleigh conference will be the best yet -- including booking keynote speaker Temple Grandin, a renowned author and expert on humane livestock handling.


temple grandin
Keynote Speaker
Temple Grandin 


Look for more details on the Raleigh conference in the coming months. In the meantime, we hope you'll enjoy a taste of what's to come with this Raleigh promo video!


2011 Conference Presentations - Now Available Online

Presentations and handouts from the 2011 Conference are now available on the ACS website for members to download. Please note that a member login is required to download these items. 


Click here to access the 2011 presentations and handouts.  


Mark Your Calendar! October is the First Annual American Cheese Month

ACM LogoJoin us in celebration of North American artisan, specialty, and farmstead cheeses this October by hosting an event in your community! Here are just a few ways to get involved:   


Cheesemakers: create and participate in a "Cheese Trail." Host tastings or classes at your creamery!

Retailers: host tastings or classes at your shop, or feature American Cheese tasting selections to go.

Distributors: work with chefs and restaurants to create cheese-centric menus or "Dine Arounds" in your city.

Educators: host guided tastings in public venues.

Bloggers: promote events and get involved with our social media outreach.

Cheese Enthusiasts: host an in-home tasting for friends.

ACS will share more information about getting involved in the coming weeks.   


If you are interested in participating with an event in your community, let us know your plans! Contact Rebecca Sherman Orozco or call 720-328-2788. 


Showcase Your Cheeses at the Great American Beer Festival!


From Sept 29-Oct 1, ACS will return to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO, to serve as the event's official artisan cheese partner. Over three days, the ACS team will sample member cheeses to nearly 50,000 attendees -- both at the ACS pavilion and through special pairings with regional brewers' guilds.


If you are a producer and would like to have your products showcased at the Great American Beer Festival, consider sending cheese or accompanying products! Contact Rebecca Sherman Orozco to for more details.   

ACS Members Invited to Enter Cheeses in Good Food Awards


good food awards 


The 2011 Good Food Awards are open for entries through September 1. If you haven't entered your cheeses yet, we encourage you to participate in this celebration of producers who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions. 


Good Food Awards will be given to artisan and farmstead cheeses in the categories of Fresh, Semi-Soft, Semi-Hard and Hard. Cheeses that meet the criteria for entry should be made using good animal husbandry, without the use of hormones, and without the use of herbicides and pesticides on the pastures.


If you would like to enter your cheeses (up to 3 per company), click here. You can read the full entry criteria, view the roster of judges, and enter. Good luck!

Late Summer's Bounty: Heirloom Tomato and Lemon Mascarpone Tart  


ACS Tart

Beautiful heirloom tomatoes are beginning to pop up in grocery stores and at farm stands around the country. Celebrate the harvest by adding some fresh mascarpone to create a light and summery tart. 

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato and Lemon Mascarpone Tart

Cheese in the News

State's first farmstead butter plant to hold grand opening: Wisconsin State Journal,   August 16

Britain's food standards agency to re-examine raw milk cheese rules: Culture, Summer 2011 

Tacoma welcomes its first artisan cheese company: Tacoma Weekly, August 11

Cypress Grove enters escrow on new dairy site: Times-Standard, August 11

Saputo CEO shares cheesemakers secret to success: Business News Network, August 3

Qu�bec's perfect cheesemakers: Montr�al Gazette, August 3

Les producteurs de fromage se rassemblent a Montr�al (video): Radio-Canada, August 3 


Member Milestones

Speaker Lineup Announced for Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival Seminars 


Speaker Lineup Announced for 2012 Sonoma Valley Cheese Conference

Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery Takes 'Best in Show' and 'Best in Division' Along with 3 Gold Medals at California State Fair 


Savoring Memories of Montr�al

Christine Hyatt 2011 Photo 

Ahhh, Montr�al. I've been savoring my memories of the gorgeous city, delicious food, engaging sessions and memorable conversations with so many friends and colleagues. Such a treat, too, meeting new friends for the first time, our shared passion for cheese offering an immediate connection.


A hearty congratulations and big thank you to the Montr�al Conference Planning Committee, volunteers, and staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring the first ACS international conference to successful fruition. Thank you also to the many presenters who lent their expertise to our educational sessions.


Finally, a big thank you to our sponsors. Your generous support helped us produce not only a stellar conference but also contributes to the year-round operations and activities of the society. We look forward to working with you again in Raleigh for our 2012 Conference. 


I am excited and encouraged by the number of you who approached members of the Board, Committee Chairs, and our ACS staff wanting to get more involved with our ongoing initiatives -- from the Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals, to the newly formed Regulatory & Academic Committee and American Cheese Month working group, to the Sponsorship and Marketing & Communications Committees. ACS has always been a member-driven organization. The excitement, enthusiasm and dedication of our volunteer Board and Committee members through the years is what has gotten us here and what will move our association forward.


The Board and Committee Chairs are prioritizing and aligning on 2011/2012 ACS goals in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to future editions of CheeseBytes for specific volunteer opportunities.


Don't forget: American Cheese Month kicks off October 1st. Download the American Cheese Month logo for use in your store, in your programs and events, or on your website. How do you plan to celebrate? Shout out on Facebook or Twitter


Peace, Love and Cheese,


Christine Hyatt

ACS President


Active Members Activate ACS  

Nora Weiser in Scarf


Thanks to all who joined us in Montr�al earlier this month to make our Annual Conference & Competition a great success! Our ACS team is already gearing up for next year's event in Raleigh, NC. Mark your calendar now for August 1-4, 2012. You can get involved:

  • I encourage you to share your unique expertise by presenting a session in Raleigh. Presentation submissions are due by September 12. 
  • This year's Official Conference Cheesemongers, Jeanne Rodier of Yannick Fromagerie and Kelly Sheehan of Antonelli's Cheese Shop, did an amazing job. Next year, we'll need two equally-skilled cheesemongers to tackle the job of ensuring that 17,000 lbs of cheese is prepped and moved to wherever it needs to be throughout the Conference. Consider applying for this top industry position
  • Also in Raleigh, you'll be able to sit for our first ever Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals. More information and an application are coming to our website soon. 

In the meantime... excitement over the First Annual American Cheese Month is growing -- what will you do in October to celebrate American cheeses and raise awareness of and appreciation for great American cheese? 




Nora Weiser

Executive Director


Congratulations to our 2011 Winners!

 winner sticker lo res

The 2011 ACS Judging & Competition went on record as the largest judging of cheese in North American history. This year's competition saw 1,676 entries from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Among those entries, 334 ribbons were awarded in more than 100 different categories.


Congratulations to this year's competitors and winners! For a full roster, please follow the links below.

Winning companies in the 2011 ACS Judging & Competition may purchase winner stickers to affix to product packaging. Stickers are available for sale  on the ACS website at the rate of $10 per 500 stickers.


Alternatively, a high-resolution digital file of the winner graphic may be incorporated directly into the design of your product packaging. If you would like a digital file, contact the ACS office at  [email protected].  A high-resolution digital file will be provided at the rate of $10 per 500 digital imprints. 


A Record-Breaking Judging & Competition 


The journey to Montr�al has been a great and rewarding adventure, our first ever international conference. Scores of people were involved in mapping it out. Almost every bend in the trail was anticipated. The surprising, sometimes treacherous turns were navigated. And, in the end, the mighty St. Lawrence was crossed.


We don't have to remind our US cheesemaker members how much we asked of them in order to make this year's shipment of entries work. We needed a consolidation effort for the first time, had a specific shipping date and cut off time, required production dates and other information for Canadian customs, and more.


Ultimately, all goods that shipped on-time arrived on-time in Plattsburgh, New York. And, when I crossed the border and arrived in Montr�al, I found our trailer full of cheese parked and waiting at the Palais des congr�s.


As has become your custom, all records were shattered with this year's entries. 258 producers from the United States, Canada, and Mexico submitted 1,676 cheeses and cultured dairy products, 244 more than last year's record in Seattle. ACS Montr�al was the largest judging of cheese in North American history. All cheesemakers who entered this year's Competition will receive copies of their judging scoresheets via mail in early September.


As you know, it takes dozens and dozens of people to pull the Judging & Competition together. There are many more to thank than we can account for, but please download and read our 2011 Awards Brochure to find out who these invaluable partners and supporters are -- including sponsor Atlanta Foods International, and members of the ACS Judging & Competition Committee.


I will continue to work with this wonderful committee in the years to come, but I have completed my term as Judging & Competition Chair. It has been the most rewarding experience of my career to be with ACS and witness this astonishing growth, both in numbers and stature, of the North American cheesemaker. I thank you all for this privilege and opportunity, and welcome our incoming Chair, Todd Druhot of Atlanta Foods International. 




David Grotenstein

2011 Chairman, Judging & Competition


Pioneers of Goat Cheese Inducted into

ACS Academy of Cheese  


ACS inducted eight individuals into the Academy of Cheese, honoring a quarter century's work in growing the category of goat cheese in the United States. The awards were presented on August 5 at the Annual Business Meeting during the ACS Conference & Competition in Montr�al.


Inductees included:

  • Jennifer Bice, owner of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery in Sebastapol, CA
  • Laura Chenel, founder of Laura Chenel's Chevre in Sonoma, CA
  • Allison Hooper, co-owner of Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery in Websterville, VT
  • Mary Keehn, founder of Cypress Grove Chevre in Arcata, CA
  • Letty and Bob Kilmoyer, founders of Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, MA
  • Judy Schad, owner of Capriole Farmstead Goat Cheeses in Greenville, IN
  • Anne Topham, owner of Fantome Farm in Ridgeway, WI

The Academy of Cheese was created by ACS twenty years ago to honor early supporters of the American cheese movement, and was re-launched at the 2011 conference to honor individuals who share a related industry vocation and passion for growing the artisan, farmstead and specialty cheese industry in North America.


As with all such honors, there is the risk of oversight and failing to recognize all those who deserve our praise. Please read a letter from Christine Hyatt and a letter to the ACS Board from Allison Hooper, both of which recognize some great goat cheese industry pioneers who were missed in Montr�al. 


Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals: Update

Subject Matter Experts met in Montr�al to develop exam questions.


The 2011 Conference in Montr�al was abuzz with excitement about the announcement of the first Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals, which will be held immediately before the ACS Conference in Raleigh, NC, next summer. 


Before this year's conference, two dozen Subject Matter Experts (peers in the industry) gathered for an in-depth training in composing the exam questions. These questions will be reviewed by our consultants and by successive panels of experts and industry peers prior to the exam being finalized. The exam will have 150 questions, pulled from a bank of questions covering all of the domains of the cheese industry.

The eligibility requirements for the exam, which outline the minimum work and education levels required to take the exam, have been developed and are posted on the ACS website. The requirements were developed by a team of cheese professionals, and after much deliberation we believe those individuals who meet the requirements will have a high probability of successfully passing the exam.

Also on the website is a preview of the Body of Knowledge which can be used as a preliminary study guide. The complete Body of Knowledge will be posted at a later date once it has been further reviewed and edited.

The application form and handbook for the exam are scheduled to be posted on the ACS website in the coming weeks. More information about the Certification Exam for Cheese Professionals will also be shared in future issues of CheeseBytes.


Ask Dr. Cheese: Sheep's Milk Cheese  


Sheeps Milk Cheese 

American sheep's milk cheese may not be a booming niche, but it's a growing one. Neville McNaughton, president of CheezSorce, a consultancy in St. Louis, MI, shares thoughts on the technical issues facing cheesemakers working with sheep's milk. The interviewer is San Francisco Chronicle cheese columnist Janet Fletcher.


What opportunities and challenges does sheep's milk present in cheesemaking?

You have to adjust to the total solids. All too often we hear the comment that sheep's milk is high fat, but it really isn't that high in fat. It's not as high as buffalo milk. It's the ratio of protein to fat that the cheesemaker needs to think about. Sheep's milk has a protein-to-fat ratio of .83. The ratio for cow's milk is .97, and for buffalo milk it's .60. So when you're working with buffalo milk, you're almost making double-cream cheese.


What adjustments do you have to make because of the high solids in sheep's milk?

When many cow's milk cheesemakers make sheep's milk cheese, they tend to produce a sweeter cheese because they didn't increase the culture. Sheep's milk protein is quite high -- 5.6 percent compared to 3.4 percent for cow's milk-and that protein is a buffer. So you need more culture. And you need a lot less rennet, because when you have higher solids, it's easier for proteins to bump into one another and bond.


On the other hand, rennet is important for flavor development so you don't want to slash it back too much. Using a lower set temperature helps with that.


Any styles of cheese you wouldn't try to make with sheep's milk?

I don't see any limitations at all. People said you can't get the body and texture of ch�vre out of sheep's milk and I didn't believe that. When I worked with Brenda Jensen at Hidden Springs Creamery, we wanted to make her business as strong as possible from the beginning. To make a ch�vre-type product from sheep's milk that gave her a 39 percent yield was spectacular. You definitely get a different texture than with goat's milk, but Brenda has been very successful with it.



Do you have questions for Dr. Cheese? Email them to us, and we'll answer them in a future issue of CheeseBytes! 



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