L'Espalier's Cheese Tuesday - The Best of the Best: American Cheese Society Competition Winners

If you read my post about the American Cheese Society's Festival of Cheese, then you know I've already tried the top award winning cheeses from this years' competition. The chance to try these cheeses again, plus other various award-winning cheeses and delicious foods, was impossible to resist, so this past Tuesday I headed back to L'Espalier for Cheese Tuesday.

I began the night with a Hemingway Daiquiri, a summery mix of Bully Boy white rum, lime, grapefruit, maraschino liqueur, and simple syrup. The first course paired Maplebrook burrata, the second place burrata, with little heirloom tomatoes, green gage plums, and blackberries, along with a bubbly 2006 Westport Rivers Blanc de Noirs Brut. 

The sour dough bread came out next; it's fabulous, but I miss the pretzel bread. The second course is so good, though, that I know I'm not missing out on anything, really: East Coast halibut with miso brown butter emulsion, Beech mushroom, and kohlrabi, paired with 2013 Wimmer Czerny Fumberg, a Grüner Veltliner. The mushrooms were so unbelieveably good.

Roasted Aspen Ridge sirloin with Gorgonzola velouté, confit potatoes, and chanterelle mushrooms made up the third course, paired with MV Sans Liege "The Transcendentalist" from Santa Barbara. This was just as wonderfully decadent and rich a pairing as you can imagine, and it was one I was looking forward to as soon as I saw the menu. 

On to the American Cheese Society Champion Cheeses, paired with a tasty port, 2003 Warre's LBV.

Up first was Ruggles Hill Farm's Ellie's Cloudy Down, a goat's milk cheese made here in Massachusetts. Each cheese at Ruggles Hill Farm is made from the milk of one goat, and it is then named after that goat; every cheese I've had from the farm has been amazing, and this one came in first place for farmstead goat's milk cheeses aged less than 60 days. It was followed by Vermont Shepherd's Verano, the first place winner of the farmstead sheep's milk cheese aged 60 days or more. Finishing out the first three cheeses was the third place winner overall, Jasper Hill Farm's Harbison, a fabulously gooey cow's milk cheese from Vermont.  

Second place Dutch style winner, Mount Mansfield's Forerunner, was next; it's a cow's milk cheese from Vermont that was very tasty. Then it was on to Homestead Creamery's Flory's Truckle from Missouri, which the wonderful Louis Risoli is holding in the picture above. Flory's Truckle won third place cheddar wrapped in cloth aged up to 12 months.

The always amazing Cellars at Jasper Hill won first place for their cheddar wrapped in cloth aged up to 12 months. Every cheese I've ever had from there has been delicious. Spring Brook Farm, also known as The Farms for City Kids Foundation of Vermont, won first place for their farmstead aged cheese aged 60 days or more; their Reading is perfect for melting. Then it was on to the overall Best in Show second place winner- Emmi Roth USA Roth's Private Reserve from Wisconsin.

Meadowood Farm's Rippleton, a sheep's milk cheese made in New York, came in second place for farmstead cheeses aged less than 60 days. It was wonderfully gooey, and was followed up by the overall Best in Show cheese, the very difficult to obtain Glengarry Fine Cheese's Celtic Blue Reserve. Thank you to Louis for working so hard to round up all of these delicious cheeses; it was a wonderful night!


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