If you’re looking for the best cheeses for pizzas, sandwiches, entrees and salads, the winners of the 2015 American Cheese Society Competition might simplify your task.
Held in Providence, RI, in July, the competition judges evaluated more than 1,779 products in 267 categories to come up with this year’s winners. Judges were looking for the highest aesthetic and technical quality for each type of cheese. The Best in Show honors this year went to Celtic Blue Reserve from Glengarry Fine Cheese, Ontario.
Meanwhile, here are the first place winners in the Mozzarella, Cheddar, Parmesan, Jack and Swiss categories. According to the Foodservice Research Institute’s MenuMine database, Mozzarella is the number one cheese found on American menus—earning a 21 percent share of 36,000 menu items featuring cheese as an ingredient. The top five cheese types—Mozzarella, Cheddar, Parmesan, Jack and Swiss—account for 67 percent of the approximately 100 cheeses mentioned on menus at 1,500 chains, independent restaurants and noncommercial foodservice operations in the database.
Mozzarella: Winners of the four Mozzarella subcategories are Farmer’s Rope String Cheese (Mozzarella types—brick, scamorza, string cheese), Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, WI; Bella Casara Buffalo Mozzarella (Fresh Mozzarella, 8 oz. or more, balls or shapes), Atalanta Corp./Quality Cheese, ON; Fresh Mozzarella—Bocconcini (Fresh Mozzarella under 8 oz.), Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, WI; and Burrata (Burrata Fresh Mozzarella encasing a distinctly separate softer curd and cream or other soft cheese core), Calabro Cheese, CT.
Cheddar: First-place winners in each of the seven Cheddar subcategories are Face Rock 2-Year Extra Aged Cheddar (Aged Cheddar, over 12 months and up to 24 months) Face Rock Creamery, OR; Tillamook White Medium Cheddar (Cheddar aged up to 12 months), Tillamook County Creamery, OR; Goat Cheddar (Cheddar aged up to 12 months, goat, sheep, buffalo or mixed milks category), Central Coast Creamery, CA; Four Year Flagship (Mature Cheddar, aged over 24 months and up to 48 months), Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, WA; Cabot Old School Cheddar (Mature Cheddar, aged over 48 months), Cabot Creamery, VT; Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (Cheddar wrapped in cloth, linen, aged up to 12 months), Cellars at Jasper Hill, VT; Cabot Clothbound Cheddar Select (Cheddar wrapped in cloth, linen, aged over 12 months), Cellars at Jasper Hill, VT.
Monterey Jack (cow’s milk): Monterey Jack from Southwest Cheese, NM.
Swiss: In the Emmental-Style with Eye Formation category (Swiss, Baby Swiss, Blocks and Wheels), Baby Swiss from Guggisberg Cheese, OH.
Parmesan: Cello Riserva Copper Kettle Parmesan Cheese (Italian-type cheeses, grating types), Arthur Schuman, WI.
The awards mentioned here represent just a few of this year’s winners. To see the complete list of awards in all categories, visit The American Cheese Society website.