2009 ACS Best of Show Third Place Tie - Carr Valley
In Wisconsin, cheesemaker roots run deep, and nowhere is that more evident than in the fourth-generation cheesemaker Sid Cook, owner of Carr Valley Cheese in La Valle. Arguably the nation’s most decorated cheesemaker, with 225 awards earned for his American Originals in the past five years at regional, national, and international contests, Cook once again wore a path in the carpet to the award podium at the 2009 American Cheese Society Competition, collecting nineteen ribbons, including a tie for the prestigious Third Place Best of Show award for Cave Aged Mellage. Aged for a year, the complexity and balance of this three-milk (cow, goat, and sheep) cheese epitomizes the blend of Old World craftsmanship and cheesemaking innovation that has come to define Carr Valley. “You should be able to taste the flavors of all three milks in a blended cheese,” Cook says.
So what does a cheesemaker with walls full of awards have left to accomplish? Plenty, it turns out. “I’m interested in raising the status and reputation of Wisconsin cheese,” Cooks says. “If Wisconsin is viewed as making the best cheese in the country, that’s good for everyone—from the farmers to the cheesemakers to the marketers. It’s a win-win-win for the industry.”