Our friends at Huffington Post are recommending “rare” cheeses! Most of them are produced right here in the U.S.! We have witnessed dramatic improvements in artisan cheese making here, especially within the past decade. As we have been saying – this is where the excitement in the cheese world is occurring, right here within our shores.
There was a time not that many years ago when superior domestic cheeses were harder to find; they simply were not that many! I recall thinking that I could skip the American Cheese Society’s annual conference every other year; the cheeses were all pretty much the same: some excellent cheeses could be found but the dramatic improvements in cheese making were just beginning to take hold.
Just a few of these phenomenal cheeses were around over a decade ago. Can you identify which ones?
Nettle Meadow Kunik
Uplands Pleasant Ridge
This is a select group of some of the best cheeses in the world today, and they are all produced here in the United States. Some of these cheeses’ recipes are based on old world styles, yet they are unique, inimitable, and outstanding. Since they have not been around that long, some of these names may be unfamiliar. With the way things are going, expect to see many more “rare” cheeses in the near future.
This year’s American Cheese Society conference will be in early August in Raleigh, North Carolina. We expect to see a new record number of entries; my forecast is 1,900. Even if we see 2,000 entries in the competition, there will be many more that do not enter. You will find hundreds of “rare” cheeses at the conference’s Saturday Festival of Cheeses, and on Thursday evening’s Meet the Cheesemaker session.
This is a conference that cannot be missed every other year any more. Along with a grand selection of cheeses, the conference will include several informative seminars, including one that I will moderate on cheese nutrition.
The first exam for Certified Cheese Professionals will be held at the conference too, a certification the ACS has endorsed and one that we have been developing for nearly a decade. The interest in the certification effort exceeded expectations; the first year’s exam seating has sold out. If you are interested in taking the exam in 2013 you should apply soon!
In the meantime, should you want to prepare for the exam, this year’s or next year’s, you should sign up for the Master Series here.