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The best cheese in America? It’s Canadian

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The best cheese at the American Cheese Society’s annual competition held last week in Providence, R.I., was Canadian, and Los Angeles’ own Karoun Dairies picked up seven awards, including two firsts.

Celtic Blue Reserve from Glengarry Fine Cheese in Ontario was named “Best of Show” from a field of almost 1,800 entries at the ACS — in its 32rd year, the granddaddy of North American cheese competitions.

“This is not only for me, but for Canada,” said Margaret Peters-Morris of Glengarry in a statement. “This win is very important for the Canadian dairy industry. We have the confidence, and we can do this as well as anybody.”

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Two Wisconsin cheeses tied for second — LaClare Farms Specialties Standard Market Cave Aged Chandoka and Emi Roth’s Roth’s Private Reserve — and Cellars at Jasper Hill’s Harbison from Vermont was third.

Three California dairies did notably well.

Karoun, which started in 1990 as a string-cheese producer serving a primarily Middle Eastern audience, took two first places for its Brinza Feta — in the cow’s milk feta and unripened cow’s milk cheese divisions — as well as five other awards.

Longtime goat cheese stalwart Cypress Grove, from McKinleyville, also took two firsts — PsycheDillic won the fresh goat with flavor added category and flagship Humboldt Fog won the American Originals. It won four other awards.

Sierra Nevada Dairies won for its Capretta Low Fat Yogurt and also took home four other awards.

Here’s a complete list of California’s first-place award-winning cheeses. Click here for a complete list of all award-winners (PDF).

FROMAGE BLANC, FROMAGE FRAIS, AND QUARK - MADE FROM COW’S MILK: Nicasio Valley Cheese Co., CA, Foggy Morning.

BRIE - MADE FROM COW’S MILK: Marin French Cheese Company, CA, Traditional Brie 8oz.

AMERICAN ORIGINALS ORIGINAL RECIPE / MADE FROM GOAT’S MILK: Cypress Grove Chevre, CA, Humboldt Fog Grande.

AMERICAN ORIGINALS ORIGINAL RECIPE / MADE FROM SHEEP’S MILK: Bleating Heart Cheese, CA, Fat Bottom Girl.

CHEDDAR - AGED UP TO 12 MONTHS - MADE FROM GOAT’S, SHEEP’S, BUFFALO’S, MIXED, OR OTHER MILK: Central Coast Creamery, CA, Goat Cheddar.

FETA - MADE FROM COW’S MILK: Karoun Dairies Inc, CA, Brinza Feta.

FRESH GOAT CHEESE WITH FLAVOR ADDED: Cypress Grove Chevre, CA, PsycheDillic.

FARMSTEAD CATEGORY AGED LESS THAN 60 DAYS: Pugs Leap, CA, Petit Marcel.

KEFIR, DRINKABLE YOGURT, BUTTERMILK, AND OTHER DRINKABLE CULTURED PRODUCTS: Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, CA, Redwood Hill Farm Traditional Plain Goat Milk Kefir.

YOGURTS MADE FROM GOAT’S MILK: Sierra Nevada Cheese Company, CA, Capretta Low Fat Yogurt.

UNSALTED BUTTER MADE FROM COW’S MILK: Rumiano Cheese Company, CA, Organic Unsalted Butter.

Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1


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