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California cheesemakers bring home the gold

September 1, 2010 |  6:40 pm

Aaaah, those happy cows. California dairies took 13 first-place trophies at the American Cheese Society’s annual competition this week in Seattle. In addition, Golden State producers took home seven second-place and 12 third-place awards.

Karoun Dairies in Turlock and Rumiano Cheese Co. in Crescent City each won three firsts--Karoun for its queso crema, feta with green olives and thyme and labne kefir cheeses; Rumiano for Dry Monterey Jack, Monterey Jack and Mediterranean Jack. Two dairies took two each: Bellwether Farms in Petaluma for fromage blanc and crème fraiche, and Bravo Farms in Traver for Silver Mountain cheddar and Bravo Bl’u blue cheese.

Also taking home first prizes were Fiscalini Cheese Co. in Modesto for Purple Moon marinated cheese; Mozzarella Fresca in Tipton for its fresh mozzarella ciliegini, and Marin French Cheese Co. in Petaluma for its Schlosskranz.

In addition, Marin French Cheese Co. won three second and four third-place awards, Karoun took home a second, and Fiscalini and Rumiano each earned a third. Cowgirl Creamery of Pt. Reyes and Fagundes Old World Cheese of Hanford each took home one second and two third-places. Mozzarella Fresca received two third-place awards, Vella Cheese Co. of Sonoma received one second place, and McClelland’s Dairy of Petaluma took one third.

--Russ Parsons

Photo of California Jack by George Wilhelm / Los Angeles Times