Culinary News

Cheese, please?

Oregon cheesemakers get national recognition

By Kaitlyn Evans August 17, 2009

Blue cheeses from Rogue Creamery, which took first place for its Rogue River Blue at the American Cheese Society competition in Austin, Texas.

So for this year at least, Oregon is in Gouda company, standing tall among big-cheese states like Wisconsin and California.

At the recent 26th American Cheese Society Competition in Austin, Texas, Oregon won not only several titles for our region’s kick-ass variety of cheeses, but most importantly, we won THE AWARD, for “Best of Show”. It went to Oregon’s Rogue Creamery for its Rogue River Blue, which also took first place in its individual category. The Best of Show title has never been won by a cheesemaker from the Pacific Northwest—so yes, it’s a big deal.

Oregon was also a big winner in the Merchandising Competition, and Steve Jones of Steve’s Cheese and Tom Van Voorhees of Rogue Creamery were credited with “ACS Cheesemonger of the Year”.

In a competition of over 1,300 cheeses, this is no small accomplishment.

Oregon has a definite advantage over many other parts of the country when it comes to cheese-making. Our moderate climate and consistent rainfall have blessed us with fields of grass that stay green longer than most other fields in the country—thus, we can produce high-quality cheeses year round and constantly be working on creating and perfecting. Our specialty, artisan, and farmstead cheeses are some of the best in the country and, finally, we have something to show for it.

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