We just came across this article from the Boston Globe written by Devra First about the 2007 judging for the American Cheese Society Awards in which Leelanau Cheese Co. Aged Raclette took Best in Show.
Laura Werlin, author of “Cheese Essentials,” recently spent the day at the Leelanau Cheese Co., learning Anne and John’s cheesemaking secrets. She had come to the area to present two standing-room only cheese classes atthe Traverse Epicurean Classic where attendees sampled the aged raclette. Werlin toldthem that “the aged raclette was among the best cheeses in the world” and that, in her opinion, was certainly “the best raclette in the world.” High praise indeed fromthisrenowned cheese expert.
Gordonzola, a judge at this years American Cheese Society Competition, is at it again. This time he’s listing his top ten cheeses from the competition. Naturally, Leelanau Cheese Co. aged raclette is in the number one position.
“Leelanau Aged Raclette, Michigan. Won best in Show and I voted for it. Pungent, rich, earthy, and fruity. The flavor jumped out at me despite (because of?) the fact that I’d tasted 200 cheeses in the previous 36 hours. Someday I hope to actually be able to buy this cheese but from what I’ve heard, this cheese is so small production that it’s difficult to get even in Michigan. They also make a younger Raclette which is very good, but this aged one is transcendent.”
For his 2-10 picks, check out his blog. There’s a cool picture of the cheese at the competition, too.
Anne and John donated one pound of their “North American Best” aged raclette to raise dollars for the Northport Promise, a local charity helping all Northport students with college costs. When the bidding was over, the cheese brought in $67 – well worth it for this sought-after cheese.
Leelanau Cheese’s aged raclette beat out over 1.200 entries to take “Best in Show” at the 24th annual American Cheese Society competition in Burlington, VT.
With a 27% increase in entries this year and over 200 cheesemakers competing, the Hoyt’s faced stiff competition, but if you’ve ever tasted their aged raclette, you know that the judges made the right decision.
And, amid all this hoop-la, their raclette – once again – came in first at the Michigan State Fair.
Congratulations, Anne and John!