A variety of U.S. cheeses earned high praise — and medals — from judges at the World Cheese Awards in London last week. In all, 23 U.S. artisan cheese makers earned 42 medals —13 gold, 17 silver and 12 bronze. Winners were showcased at the International Food and Drink Exhibition, which attracts more than 25,000 trade buyers, retailers and restaurateurs.

The United States proved its strength in the cheddar and mozzarella categories, winning 14 medals between the two. Significantly, Bandage Wrapped Extra Mature, an aged cheddar from Fiscalini Cheese Co., Modesto, Calif., won the Wyke Farms Trophy for the show’s “Best Extra Mature Traditional Cheddar.”

“This is a major coup for Fiscalini. It is the first time ever that an overseas cheddar has won this class or trophy,” says Bob Farrand of the UK Cheese Guild, and chairman of the contest.

“To be able to go into Britain, where cheddar has been produced for hundreds of years, and claim top honors for U.S. cheddar, is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of our specialty-cheese artisans,” says Marc A.H. Beck, senior vice president of marketing for the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), one of the contest sponsors. “When cheese buyers from around the world see the accolades we receive year-after-year at this prestigious contest, they understand that U.S. cheese is as good or better than cheese produced anywhere.”

U.S. specialties, from blue to gouda to brie, also were recognized.

Marin French Gold, a triple crème brie made by Marin French Cheese Co., Petaluma, Calif., won the U.S. Dairy Export Council Trophy as the “Best U.S. Cows’ Milk Cheese.”

In addition to awarding the top U.S. cheese, USDEC supported U.S. entries in the contest by paying the shipping costs of cows’ milk cheeses from New York to London.

Following is a list of U.S. cheeses that won awards at the 2007 World Cheese Awards:

Class 1a (Soft goats’ milk cheese plain – fresh)

  • Vermont Chèvre, Vermont Butter & Cheese Co., Websterville, Vt., Gold.
  • Vermont Creamy Goat Cheese, Vermont Butter & Cheese Co., Websterville, Vt., Silver.

Class 1b (Soft goats’ milk cheese plain - mould-ripened)

  • Humboldt Fog - soft ripened goats milk cheese, Cypress Grove Chèvre, Aracata, Calif., Gold.
  • Pee Wee Pyramid - soft ripened goats milk cheese, Cypress Grove Chèvre, Aracata, Calif., Silver.
  • Merry Goat Round, Fire Fly Farms, Bittinger, Md., Bronze.

Class 2a (Semi-hard goats’ milk cheese plain)

  • Grisdale Goat, Estrella Family Creamery, Montesano, Wash., Silver.
  • Aged Cardona, goats milk cheese, Carr Valley Cheese, La Valle, Wis., Silver.

Class 3 (Goats’ milk cheese with additives)

  • Rosey Goat Cheese produced by Selected by Solera, Fromartharie, Millington, N.J., Bronze.

Class 4 (Soft ewes’ milk cheese plain)

  • Manchego - aged 6 months produced by Garcia Baquero, Fromartharie, Millington, N.J., Gold.

Class 5b (Hard ewes’ milk cheese plain)

  • Cave-aged Marisa, Carr Valley Cheese, La Valle, Wis., Gold.

Class 8 (Cheese made with the milk of more than one animal)

  • Bessies Blend, CarrValley Cheese, La Valle, Wis., Gold.
  • EchoMountain – unpasteurized goat & cows milk blue, The Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Ore., Silver.

Class 10b (Mould ripened soft or unpressed cows’ milk cheese with savoury additives)

  • Pesto Brie, Marin French Cheese Co., Petaluma, Calif., Bronze.

Class 11 (Soft or unpressed cows’ milk cheese with dessert style additives)

  • Mocha Espresso Cream Cheese Torta with Chocolate, Rising Sun Farms, Phoenix, Ore., Bronze.

Class 14b (Brie made from pasteurised milk)

  • Marin French Gold, Marin French Cheese Co., Petaluma, Calif., Gold
  • Triple Cream Brie, Marin French Cheese Co., Petaluma, Calif., Bronze.

Class 21b (Blue vein cheese made outside the UK, any variety, uncut, foil wrapped)

  • Salemville Gorgonzola produced by Salemville Co-op, DCI Cheese Co., Richfield, Wis., Silver.
  • Crater Lake - unpasteurized blue cheese, The Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Ore., Silver.
  • Oregon Blue - unpasteurized blue cheese, The Rogue Creamery, Central Point, Ore., Silver.
  • Aderkase German Style Blue Cheese produced by Robert Richter, Seymour Dairy Products, Seymour Dairy Products, Bronze.

Class 23 (Reduced fat cheese unpressed)

  • Lace Kase, Roth Kase USA, Monroe, Wis., Bronze.

Class 26 (Smoked Cheddar)

  • Smoked Cheddar, CarrValley Cheese, La Valle, Wis., Gold.

Class 27a (Other smoked cheese - soft/semi soft)

  • Smoked Rofumo, Roth Kase USA, Monroe, Wis., Bronze.

Class 27c (Other smoked cheese – hard)

  • Applewood Smoked Goat Cheddar, CarrValley Cheese, La Valle, Wis., Silver.

Class 28a (Hard pressed or repressed Cheddar with savoury additives)

  • Marco Polo, Beecher's Handmade Cheese, Seattle, Gold.
  • Cheddar with Jalapenos, Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, Theresa, Wis., Bronze.

Class 37 (Medium block Cheddar made on a farm after 31/09/06)

  • Cheddar Block, Fiscalini Cheese Co., Modesto, Calif., Gold.

Class 38 (Extra Mature traditional Cheddar made after 31/10/05)

  • Bandage Wrapped Extra Mature, Fiscalini Cheese Co., Modesto, Calif., Gold.

Class 42 (Vintage farmhouse Cheddar made before 31/10/05)

  • Bandage Wrapped Reserve, Fiscalini Cheese Co., Modesto, Calif., Silver.

Class 43 (Vintage Cheddar made in a creamery before 31/10/05)

  • Cabot Old School Cheddar, 5 yrs., Cabot Creamery, Montpelier, Vt., Silver.
  • Cabot Vintage Choice Cheddar, Cabot Creamery, Montpelier, Vt., Silver.

Class 50a (Mozzarella, fresh, cows’ milk in ball (large or small))

  • Fresh Mozzarella, Mozzarella Fresca, Benicia, Calif., Gold.
  • Fresh Mozzarella, cultured, Mozzarella Fresca, Benicia, Calif., Gold.
  • Fresh Mozzarella, Ouoline, Cantaré Foods Inc., San Diego, Silver.
  • Fresh Mozzarella pasteurised milk (vinegar, salt & enzymes), Sorrento Lactalis, Nampa, Idaho, Silver.
  • Fresh Mozzarella, Boconccini, Cantaré Foods, San Diego, Bronze.

Class 50b (Mozzarella, block, slices or string)

  • Mozzarella Block, Saputo Cheese USA, Reedsburg, Wis., Bronze.

Class 51 (Semi-hard cheese not in any other class)

  • Gran Queso, Roth Kase USA, Monroe, Wis., Silver.

Class 54 (Rind washed cheese not in any other class)

  • Caldwell Crik Chevrette, Estrella Family Creamery, Montesano, Wash., Silver.
  • Rind Washed, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Waterloo, Wis., Bronze.

Class 60c (Soft cheese produced on a farm or dairy with a total output not exceeding a weekly average of 2 tonnes)

  • Naney’s Hudson Valley Camembert - pasteurised sheep & cow milk, Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, Old Chatham, N.Y., Gold.

Class 62a (Edam and Gouda - made before 01/03/06)

  •  Gouda, vat-pasteurized, Willamette Valley Cheese, Salem, Ore., Silver.

U.S.Dairy Export Council Trophy for “Best U.S. Cow’s Milk Cheese”

  • Marin French Gold (brie), Marin French Cheese Co., Petaluma, Calif.

Wyke Farms Trophy for “Best Extra Mature Traditional Cheddar”

  • Bandage Wrapped Extra Mature, Fiscalini Cheese Co., Modesto, Calif.

U.S.Dairy Export Council