Cheese Bytes Masthead 2010

This may be your last issue of CheeseBytes: don't let your membership expire!

Your ACS membership may expire on December 31. Renew online at, or call the ACS office at 720-328-2788 to renew via phone.*


*If you recently renewed your ACS membership, please disregard this message.



In This Issue...
Upcoming Cheese Events
Celebrate the New Year with Festive Dishes
2014 Conference Registration Winner
New ACS Member Decal
Cheese in the News
Member Milestones
Say Gazta!
Featured Cheese: Tania Toscana
Retailer Profile: Saxelby Cheesemongers
Retail Discounts for ACS Members
Rush to Judgment (But Not So Fast)
Seeding the Future of American Cheese Education
Upcoming Cheese Events  
February 10-21, 2014
Rhone-Alps, France

Essential Foundations for Cheese Professionals integrates practical, hands-on experience in all major domains of the business with detailed classroom instruction. Intimate class sizes encourage wide-ranging discussions among colleagues, enhancing the educational experience and supporting professional networking.


Basic Cheesemakers License
April 15-18, 2014
River Falls, WI

This four-day course is designed for farmstead cheesemakers as well as apprentice cheese- makers. Sessions focus on basic steps in cheese manufacturing and provide opportunities to gain "hands-on" experience in the cheesemaking process.
Find more events, and post your own cheese events, on the ACS Event Calendar.
Celebrate the New Year with Festive Dishes Starring Your Favorite Cheese!
Photo by Romulo Yanes
Goat Cheese and Spinach Risotto from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Potted Cheese Dip from
Ricotta and Sage Fried Meatballs from (pictured above)
Goat Cheddar Shortbread
Recipe courtesy of Chrissy Camba, Bar Pastoral, via

2014 ACS Conference Registration Winner


ACS has randomly selected a winner of a complimentary 2014 Conference registration from among the individuals who completed the annual ACS Member Survey. 
Congratulations to Amy Turnbull of Willapa Hills Cheese! We look forward to seeing you in Sacramento. 
Showcase Your ACS Pride with a New Member Decal!
In 2014, all ACS members will receive a new ACS window decal (shown above). This removable static-cling decal can be displayed in the window of your retail shop, creamery, or even your car.
Extra decals may be purchased on the ACS website starting next month; check the January edition of CheeseBytes for more details! 
Cheese in the News
Member Milestones
Up in Smoke is Best American Cheese at World Cheese Awards


"It's Not You, It's Brie" Cheese Club Launches 


Ringing in a New Year


Happy holiday season to all our 'Cheesies' from the staff and Board of ACS! This has been a banner year for our organization and our industry. On so many levels we have good reason to be proud and optimistic and grateful. I, for one, am especially grateful for our amazing staff, board, and incredibly talented volunteer committees -- and for the commitment of our many members and stakeholders. 

After a record-setting conference in Madison in terms of attendance, Judging & Competition entries, and CCP Exam-takers, we have continued to work within our committees to establish best practices for producer and retailer members, and we're on track to deliver in the new year. Our cheesemaker members continue to wow the world at international competitions and festivals while working to establish off-shore markets for their products. The rest of our supply chain has continued to raise the bar in terms of points of distribution, sales, and education, which continues to create increased demand for cheese produced in the Americas.

By creating or expanding partnerships with allied industry organizations such as the Specialty Food Association, The Dairy Practices Council, the Specialist Cheese Makers Association of the UK, the Brewers Association, and the newly formed US Association of Cider Makers, we are charting a collaborative course toward providing the safest, broadest array of products for the market, along with the requisite consumer education and awareness that bodes well for the future.  

There have been challenges for our industry, and they remain. The US regulatory environment at the moment is highly dynamic, with change afoot in the weeks and months to come. Please read through several important regulatory updates below, and know that ACS's staff, committees, and board remain committed to engaging at every level with governmental, academic, and related industries/organizations to proactively anticipate and shape change wherever we can. By establishing and adhering to best practices and certifying more and more of our industry professionals, we send a strong signal that ACS is leading our industry in making the production of artisan and specialty cheese ever safer.
Please be a part of this effort. With board nominations now open (see left), please consider serving our organization in this important way. We need a broad range of skill sets and backgrounds, with geographic and industry sector diversity. If you have interest in discussing board service, reach out to me or any of the other board members via our website, and we would be happy to speak with you.

In the meantime, let's bring this holiday season to the finish line and then take some time to enjoy friends, family, and food! We hope to see you in San Francisco this January at the ACS Pavilion at the Winter Fancy Food Show, as well as at the Good Food Awards and the new Winter Cheesemonger Invitational!
Thanks for your support and membership. Wishing you and yours peace and happiness for the season and the upcoming year!
Warm Regards,

Greg O'Neill

Say Gazta!


Jess Perrie, the first recipient of the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award (DZTA), is heading to the Basque region of Spain from April 1 - 16, 2014. She will be learning about traditional Basque cheesemaking techniques and how to create cheese in an arid landscape that is similar to that of the western United States.


The DZTA is an annual scholarship given to a food industry professional to further their learning -- and their ability to educate others -- about cheese. It's named in honor of Daphne Zepos, one of America's most inspiring cheese teachers.


Jess received the DZTA at the 2013 ACS Annual Conference, and she has been busy planning her trip since. She will be visiting Barcelona, Vitoria Gasteize / University of Basque, Bilbao, and perhaps Girona. Jess chose to travel to Spain because of her interest in the Basque populations...[continue reading]


Featured Cheese: Award-Winning Tania Toscana

This past August in Madison, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Tania Toscana, an aged sheep milk cheese from Ontario, Canada's Mariposa Dairy. It was love at first bite.

In 1989, Bruce and Sharon Vandeberg, longing to work at home, left the "faster" lane to buy a dairy and make cheese. A gutsy move - however, Bruce had an Ag degree and Sharon's degree was in food service, giving them the educational background to raise the odds of success.  And success continues to come their way with Tania Toscana, which they began making in 2011.


Bruce and Sharon chose goats and sheep to raise and milk...[continue reading]


Retailer Profile: Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York


Saxelby Cheesemongers is nestled inside the bustling historic Essex Street Market on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Owner Anne Saxelby stocks between 50-75 cheeses, plus dairy items like milk, yogurt, cr�me fraiche, butter, and eggs. Saxelby Cheesemongers also has a small selection of local jams, honeys, crackers, and granola.


The cheese shop sells only American-made cheese, and their focus is on northeastern US cheeses from small farms. Anne says, "We try to bring delicious, hard-to-find cheese to cheese lovers in NYC!" Saxelby Cheesemongers has also recently been bringing in some new cheeses from Wisconsin and Tennessee.

Anne's current favorite cheese is Uplands Cheese Company's Rush Creek Reserve. "It's available for a short season, so I'm eating...[continue reading]


Retail Discounts for ACS Members 


ACS members enjoy discounts on great cheeses at participating retailers via the ACS Retail Discount Program! This program allows you to receive discounts of 10-20% simply by presenting a valid ACS membership card at check-out. Click the map below for a full list of participating retailers in the U.S. and Canada.















Rush to Judgment (But Not So Fast)


As we approach a new year, our thoughts turn to family and friends. Recently, the Judging & Competition Committee wrapped up our last call of the year. The main topic on the agenda was to take on the selection of judges for the 2014 Judging & Competition in Sacramento. This year, we are looking for 19 teams of judges. Finding these 38 qualified individuals is a goal that we'd like to accomplish sooner rather than later. With that said, it is not a quick process.


This year, we were approached by a number of individuals who expressed to us that they would like to judge in 2014. This is another sign that the ACS Judging & Competition is capturing the attention of people from here and abroad. The process of selection usually begins after the New Year, but we are making a concerted effort to stay ahead of the curve.


So, what are the criteria for becoming a judge... [continue reading] 


Seeding the Future of American Cheese Education


As the year comes to an end, many of us are thinking about last-minute giving (taxes, anyone?). If you're one of those, please consider including the 501c3 American Cheese Education (ACE) Foundation in your annual giving. The ACE Foundation is poised to make strides in 2014 because of the initiatives and goals the Foundation's board established at the ACS Conference in Madison.


What is that mission? Here's how we defined it: The ACE Foundation was created to educate people about the art and science of specialty cheese. We fund education, scholarships, research, and learning about American cheeses.


Part and parcel of this is our goal to provide sustainable funding and resources for education on all facets of American specialty cheese. To this end, we funded a trip by members of the Regulatory & Academic Committee to attend a Dairy Practices Council conference, plus eight 2013 conference scholarships for cheesemakers and students. Now, we are looking to give away even more money in the coming year and beyond. In addition, our hope is to apply for grant money for new, targeted projects and create new scholarships, all in the name of education.


As you may know, the ACE Foundation houses the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award (DZTA). The DZTA committee has been raising funds to carry out Daphne's wish of funding one person to go overseas each year to pursue their specific cheese interest. Jess Perrie, the first recipient, heads to Spain in April! This sets a great example for what the ACE Foundation can accomplish.


The possibilities for the ACE Foundation are truly limitless. Because of that, I hope you'll consider seeding the future of American cheese education by way of the Foundation and, in so doing, make it a place where you can leave your legacy.


Happy New Year! 


Laura Werlin

ACE Foundation President


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