I believe it is important for farmers to occasionally travel to other areas rich in agriculture to see what their peers are doing. So when I was given the opportunity to go to the American Cheese Society's annual conference & competition in Burlington, Vermont I jumped at the chance.
The opening reception was held at the breeding barn at Shelburne Farms, which is an incredible structure built in the late 1800's. Many of the artisan food & beverage producers were there sampling their products. Despite the heat, it was a most enjoyable evening.
The workshops at the conference were interesting and I got to meet a lot of other artisan cheesemakers.
One of my favorite workshops was Pairing Cheeses and Beer done by Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at the Brooklyn Brewery. But my main reason for attending was to scope out the artisan butters.
The Festival of Cheese on Saturday evening was the grand finale with the 1,208 entries on display for the attendees and public to sample. Of course, the first table I hit was the butter table and I did taste all the entries. My goal is to enter my artisan butter and win a blue ribbon. Some were very good and other tasted like yellow Crisco. After the butter table, I chose to sample all the blue ribbon winners and then I went back and sampled the non-winning cheeses that were made by cheesemakers I had befriended at the conference.
2 months ago