There is a reason Esquirrou (pronounced ehs-keer-oo and meaning ‘bell’ in france’s béarnaise dialect) bested a record-breaking 3,402 entries from 26 countries in the 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest, held in Madison, WI.
Named after the caves in which it is aged, St. Pete’s Select from Caves of Faribault in Faribault, MN, has quite a history behind it.
It was 1936 when a series of 13 sandstone caves in Minnesota were commandeered by Felix Frederiksen for Blue cheese aging. The conditions were ideal. Because the caves’ stone was 99 percent quartzite and there were no stalactite or stalagmite formations, water moved vertically as opposed to horizontally, contrary to most caves. The environment also was perfect, with 99 percent humidity and a temperature of 52 degrees F all year.
The master cheesemakers at Belgioioso Cheese began crafting Crescenza-Stracchino with a purpose a few years ago, mostly to fill the need of a customer’s request. That purpose soon turned into a passion, as the talented group of cheesemakers at the company’s Langes Corners plant in Denmark, WI, fell in love with the challenging process and the nuances of the finished cheese.
As a 1930s Farm Girl, Dorothy Kolb fell in love with the cows at her grandfather’s Illinois creamery, which grew into Kolb-Lena, the first European-style cheesery in the Midwest.
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It may be surprising to some that Aspen, CO-based Avalanche Cheese’s much lauded Hand Bandaged Goat Cheddar was inspired by not just traditional English Cheddars, but also Scottish cheesemakers.
Yet, it was 2006, the year Wendy Mitchell, the dairy’s co-founder and head cheesemaker spent living in Edinburgh, Scotland that served as the inspiration for this cheese.