In This Issue...
What's In A Name?
Upcoming Cheese Events
February is for Cheese Lovers!
Cheese in the News
Member Milestones
Retail Discounts for ACS Members
Summer Vacation
Member Profile: Yankee Hallow
From the Member Services Desk
Featured Cheese: Fiscalini Farmstead
2014 Conference Scholarship
Retailer Profile: Scheffler's Deli & Cheese
What's In A Name?

Nanny Noire by Upper Canada Cheese Company,

Lincoln, ON


Upper Canada Cheese Company has traditionally made cow milk cheeses with pure Guernsey milk since their inception in 2005.  As they began to craft goat milk cheeses, they wanted to include these lovely creatures on the profile and added a goat to their traditional label - a 'photo bomb' actually. So the play on the word between the photo bomber (a nosey goat) and the sensory profile of the cheese seemed to work well.



"We asked our cheese makers what they would name a goat of their own - Nanny.  And as this cheese is rolled in a black (noire) vegetable ash and as Canada is a bilingual country - voila!  The alliterative Nanny Noire was born," said Vivian Szebeny.


Over time, Upper Canada Cheese Company has developed a washed rind semi-firm goat cheese and they have designated this cheese as Nosey Goat and their camembert became simply, Nanny Noire.


Upcoming Cheese Events  
February 25-26, 2014
Corvallis, OR

Ever wanted to visit Italy's famed Piedmont region to work alongside an Italian cheese making expert? Join Italian cheese consultant, Guido Tallone, and internationally trained cheese consultant, Michael Kalish, for a two day workshop to explore the principles and techniques behind the making of Italian classics: Mozzarella, Crescenza, and Italico. Hands-on training at the Oregon State University creamery.


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.
February is for Cheese Lovers!  
With Valentine's Day just behind us, there's no better way to celebrate than with a sweet treat... and these recipes offer a playful (and cheese-y) spin on some classic desserts!
Fig and Blue Cheese Savouries from
from Vermont Creamery
Tiramisu Cake (mascarpone) from Smitten Kitchen    

Cheese in the News
Cheesemaking Workshop Planned,  Atlantic Farm Focus, Jan 30
Member Milestones

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.



Greetings from Balmy Chicago!


Greetings from Balmy Chicago, where the relatively balmy 44F temperature makes me want to go for a swim! It has been a difficult winter for many in our industry so we hope you are holding up okay, given the circumstances. Spring will eventually come! 


That said, snow, cold, heat or drought notwithstanding, there is a whole lot going on at ACS and in our industry in general. 


Preparations for this summer's 31st annual conference in Sacramento are well underway and I can confidently say that this will be a can't miss event with "news you can use" content and infinite possibilities for side trips, tours and additional programming. Many thanks to Jill Basch, Juliana Uruburu, Lynn Stray and their dedicated volunteer conference planning committee, as well as, our dedicated and highly effective staff who are working hard to ensure that this year's conference builds on the successes of the last few years, which have continually raised the bar.


I am pleased to keep you up to speed on the productive efforts our Regulatory and Academic Committee are making to interface with cheese industry experts, governmental regulatory bodies, universities and reference industry organizations to help serve our membership and advocate on our behalf in an era of MANY moving pieces that affect our world. Our promised Best Practices for Cheesemakers initiative is well underway and is on schedule for delivery in time for Sacramento. We are also working to expedite Best Practices for Retailers. Both initiatives approach from both a safety and a quality perspective and we are excited to bring this benefit to our members.


With regulatory storm clouds on the horizon around topics like wood board aging, potential regulatory "high risk" designations and many other items, we are actively working with domestic and international partner organizations, academic experts and other key stakeholders to achieve optimized outcomes. We will even consider using ACS resources to field original content research if it will help our industry's future.


There are many other things happening including planning for a new record attendance CCP exam and a whole host of new educational programs and webinars that members can participate in from the comfort of their homes or work facilities.


Our upcoming board elections feature some of our industry's brightest and well regarded experts and regardless of the outcome, we will be well-served. We encourage those inclined to be considered for future board service to become active in ACS committees and activities, as this is a wonderful segue to board service and a great benefit to our organization. Get involved!


In the next issue, we are going to provide a more in-depth update on the regulatory landscape from our R&A committee and we hope you will take time to read it an share your input.


Think Spring and we look forward to seeing you all this summer in Sacramento!


Greg O'Neill

Summer Vacation


Nora Weiser in Scarf

With the harsh winter still upon most of the country, there is no better time to dream of summer. And for ACS, that means Conference time! All of today's technology would seem to render face-to-face meetings obsolete - yet I find that in-person time has actually increased in value. I was reminded of this last week when I attended the 2014 United States Association of Cider Makers Conference (CiderCon), where I moderated their board of directors' elections and presented a session, "Good Stewardship is Good Business." The energy and excitement of the conference stemmed from a group of like-minded people with a common passion getting together to learn and share. I know the ACS Conference & Competition will capture this energy in Sacramento this summer, and want to encourage you to mark your calendars now and plan early to ensure you don't miss a thing. A few tips to help you on your way:

  • This year's conference runs from Tuesday, July 29 through Friday, August 1 (this differs from the past few years with a Wednesday through Saturday schedule). This makes it easy for you to bookend your trip with weekend visits to nearby destinations like Napa and Sonoma.
  • Conference co-chairs Jill Giacomini-Basch, Lynn Giacomini-Stray, and Julianna Uruburu have planned six amazing tours on Tuesday, July 29. Three of these will depart from the Ferry Building in San Francisco - so if you opt for these adventures you'll want to book your travel into San Francisco or Oakland - the tours will include one-way transportation to Sacramento. You can opt to book your own shuttle back to the Bay Area, or simply book your return flight out of Sacramento.
  • Sacramento has been named "Farm to Fork Capital" of the U.S. The food scene stems from an abundance of local producers and innovative chefs. ACS cheesemakers will partner with local chefs for a special Dine-Around evening with menus that reflect this year's conference theme, "Celebrating the American Cheese Plate." If you are interested in taking part, there is still time to contact Steve Binns and let him know you'd like to get involved.

Sacramento will be toasty in July, but I hope that after a frigid winter spent grumbling about the extreme cold, we can all embrace summer climes and the warm friendships and camaraderie that will accompany them at ACS this summer.




Nora Weiser

Executive Director

Member Profile: Yankee Hallow


Have you ever wanted to join a "Cheese of the Month" club, but were intimidated by the thought?  Yankee Hollow might be just the place for you.


Yankee Hollow, a cheese subscription service, was started by Kristi Klemm, with deliveries starting this past August. Kristi had the idea for Yankee Hollow in November 2012. Living in Chicago after growing up in northern Wisconsin, Kristi was reading a news article about Myron Olson of Chalet Cheese Co-op and the decline of Limburger cheese when she had her "aha!" moment. "It seemed so strange to me. I was reading an article about my hometown and so few people living around me now had any idea what was going on there. People in Chicago are so close to artisan food, but they don't know where to find it," says Kristi.  As a fan of subscription box companies (she's a subscriber to Birchbox), her thoughts immediately went to creating a cheese subscription box company to connect people to artisan cheese... [continue reading]

From the Member Services Desk


Each month, in this new feature, you'll learn about a great ACS benefit available to members. Be sure to get the most out of your ACS membership by taking advantage of these valuable, educational, and money-saving benefits.


Receive discounts on cheese and support fellow ACS members! Simply provide your ACS membership card at participating retail locations, and receive instant savings through ACS's Member Retailer Discount Program. A current list of participating cheesemakers and retailers (27 locations in all!) will be mailed with 2014 membership cards. The list can also be found on the ACS website. The list will only continue to grow as more retailers join the program, so check back often to see if your favorite local store is on the list!


If you are a retailer or cheesemaker with a retail location, you can gain more visibility by offering a discount to ACS members through our Member Retailer Discount Program. Only ACS members are allowed to offer discounts. Participating retailers are listed with their address, phone, website, and discount offered, both online and in a print form mailed to over 1,500 ACS members, including Enthusiast members. Each month, a participating retailer is promoted through a Retailer Profile in our Cheese Bytes Enthusiast edition. 


*** If you a retailer that would like to participate, please contact Jana Hemphill at the ACS office for more information.

Featured Cheese: Fiscalini Farmstead's 

San Joaquin Gold & Vintage Bandage Cheddar


Photo Credit:

On a recent trip to Los Angeles, I scored a 

substantial wedge of Award-Winning Fiscalini Bandage Cheddar. Made in the English tradition by Cheesemaker Mariano Gonzalez under the watchful eye of third generation dairy farmer, John Fiscalini. In 1999, John and his wife, Heather, traveled to John's ancestral homeland of Switzerland and while there became inspired to add a state-of-the-art cheesemaking facility at the family farm in Modesto, California. By late 2000, he and the Head Cheesemaker created their first cheese, which would become San Joaquin Gold, named after the valley where the family farm has been since 1912.


Mariano joined John and his family from Vermont's prestigious Shelburne Farms, where he had honed his craft making traditional cheddars. Included in the tradition is wrapping the cheese in cheesecloth, also referred to as a "bandage," and stacking the curd slabs to expel more whey; a process called "Cheddaring."

Farmstead means the cheese is made at the same farm where the cows providing the milk live. John, Heather, and their children manage the dairy farm and its 3,000 plus Holstein and Jersey cows, with more than 1500 of the cows providing milk to make their line of cheeses. The Fiscalini's believe that great cheese comes from great milk, and with their own cows, they can control the quality of the milk to ensure superior cheeses... [continue reading]

Apply for a 2014 Conference Scholarship


ACS is currently accepting applications for 2014 ACS Conference Scholarships.  Scholarships are available for passionate cheesemakers, retailers, students, and California chefs.  Recipients will receive a free conference registration and may also receive a travel stipend and hotel accommodation in Sacramento, CA this summer.


ACS 2014: Celebrating the American Cheese Plate will take place July 29-August 1, 2014 at the Sacramento Convention Center. More than 900 cheese professionals will come together for networking and timely educational sessions, such as "Beyond the Cheese Plate: Cheese as an Ingredient," "Receiving & Traceability: Best Practices for Retailers," "Creating an American Original or Sticking with Tradition," and Meet the Cheesemaker, featuring more than 70 producers and their products.


2014 Conference Scholarship applications must be submitted by Monday, March 31st in order to be considered, so apply today!  Do you know someone who should be considered?  Forward this email and encourage them to apply!


Download your scholarship application:

To learn more about ACS Conference Scholarships, visit our websiteemail ACS, or call Jana at the ACS office at 720-328-2788.

Retailer Profile: Scheffler's Deli & Cheese


Scheffler's Deli & Cheese is a family-owned business that has been at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Ontario, for over 20 years. Co-owner, Odysseas Gounalakis, ACS CCP, started working part-time at the St. Lawrence Market in 1982. He had just moved from Greece to go to university to become a math teacher. Odysseas met his wife in the cheese shop they were both working at. After they married, an opportunity presented itself to open their own deli in the market. Scheffler's Deli & Cheese has expanded from deli meats and olives, as Odysseas has become more knowledgeable in food and especially cheese.  Odysseas, his wife, and three children all help out in the store. "We are continuing to expand our products and knowledge the more passionate we become about food," says Odysseas.


The store offers around 450 cheeses from around the world. "Slowly, American artisan cheeses are becoming more available to our market and there have been some fantastic cheeses coming from California, Vermont, and Wisconsin," says Odysseas, "we can't wait to get our hands on more." As for other international cheeses, Odysseas was recently in Tuscany and fell in love with a 6-month old Pecorino di Pienza wrapped and matured in walnut leaves... [continue reading]

Connect to ACS

Stay connected to ACS no matter where you are! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@CheeseSociety), or LinkedIn. Get the latest updates from the cheese community, connect with fellow cheesemakers, retailers and enthusiasts, and tell us what's happening in your world.