FireFly Farms Cebrates Six New Awards in 2009 Award Competitions

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FireFly Farms (http://www.fireflyfarms.com), producer of artisan goat cheeses in Mountain Maryland's Allegheny Plateau, proudly announces six additional individual awards received by its goat cheeses in its 2009 competition season.

"We are proud and inspired by the continued recognition of our cheeses in national and international competitions" said FireFly Farms's head cheese maker, Matt Cedro. "2009 marks our eighth competition season. These six new awards bring our individual cheese award tally to thirty-five. As the quality and variety of American artisan cheese grows, we see this a strong validation of our efforts to stay at the top of our craft and consistently produce fantastic cheese!"
Assistant cheese maker, Dan Porter, echoed Cedro's enthusiasm, "Every batch of cheese, every day we try to raise our own standard. The recognition from our customers and from these competition judges is fantastic!"

FireFly Farms competition season began on August 7, 2009 at the American Cheese Society (ACS) Judging in Austin, Texas. At this silver anniversary judging and competition for the ACS, cheese makers turned out in record numbers. 197 producers from 32 states, Canada and Mexico entered a historic 1,327 cheeses and cultured dairy products, 119 more than the previous record, set in Burlington, Vermont in 2007.

FireFly' Farms aged goat cheese, Bella Vita, received an American Cheese Society second-place ribbon competing in a open class against other goat's milk cheeses.

FireFly Farm's competition season continued at the World Cheese Awards held October 3, 2009. The annual competition, run by the UK's Guild of Fine Food, was staged this year in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain. It was only the second time the awards have been held outside Britain in their 21-year history and it attracted cheeses from 34 different countries. Over 150 judges from 24 countries, including Mexico, South Africa, Japan and Australia, sampled the 2,440 entries in a marathon tasting session before choosing the winner.

Guild of Fine Food national director Bob Farrand said: "This was the most international team of judges ever assembled, with representatives from four continents involved in choosing the World Champion. It's the largest and most cosmopolitan cheese awards on the planet."

FireFly Farms's aged goat cheese, Cabra LaMancha, received a World Cheese Award's Silver Medal competing in a class against other rind washed cheeses made from various milk types.

FireFly Farm's competition season concluded at the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) Goat Cheese Competition October 13-14, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. This American competition dedicated to exclusively judging goat's milk cheeses earned another four cheese awards for FIreFly Farms.

FireFly's aged goat cheese, Cabra LaMancha, received an ADGA third-place ribbon competing in a class against other unflavored rind washed cheeses made from goat's milk.

FireFly's soft-ripened blue cheese, MountainTop Bleu, received an ADGA second-place ribbon competing in a class against unflavored blue-veined goat's milk cheeses with exterior molding.

FireFly' Farms aged goat cheese, Bella Vita, received an ADGA second-place ribbon competing in a class against other unflavored hard goat's milk cheeses.

FireFly's aged goat cheese, Black & Blue, received an ADGA first-place ribbon competing in a class against other rindless, unflavored blue-veined goat's milk cheeses.

About the Cheeses:
FireFly Farms Bella Vita -- the beautiful life -- is a deliciously inspired Italian-style cheese. This rustic cheese is aged for several months before it leaves us, and it can continue maturing for up to a full year. Another FireFly Farms star on the cheese board, Bella Vita's sharp nutty flavor is certain to please. And, it performs as well in the kitchen, where it grates and melts beautifully.

FireFly Farms Black & Blue will leave you aching for more! It is a deeply blued wheel with a black-wax rind. It is aged for several months before it leaves us. Cut into its waxed exterior and you'll be thrilled to find a rich, dense, buttery, stark white cheese that is deeply blued throughout its interior. Its lusty taste will thrill any true-blue lover. This is cheese is a certain star on any cheese board, or as a complement to poached fruit for dessert.

FireFly Farms Cabra LaMancha is a rustic, goat's milk tome. We wash its rind -- which develops an earthy orange-color -- and age it for several months before it leaves us. Its clean, sharp taste is universally appealing. It has a firm but not hard texture that make it perfect for slicing on a cheese board or melting as part of finer cuisines. This cheese is gorgeous in taste and appearance.

FireFly Farms MountainTop Bleu is a soft-ripened goat cheese. MountainTop Blue takes its shape from pyramid molds. Delicate blue veining run through the cheese and blue and white mold cover its surface. Aged for several weeks before it leaves us, it continues to ripen from the rind inward as it matures and its piquancy and creaminess increase. This much-awarded aged goat blue is definitely unique among American artisan goat cheeses.
FireFly Farms cheese is available at farmer's markets, restaurants and many retail stores. For information on where to purchase please contact the farm directly.

About FireFlyFarms:
Established in 2000, FireFly Farms is dedicated to the art of cheese making.    FireFly Farm's artisanal goat cheeses are made according to time-honored tradition - they are produced and ripened with handmade care. Our aged cheeses are ripened naturally in a specially constructed aging room - we shun short cuts and artificial techniques aimed at increasing yield or shelf life at the expense of quality. At FireFly Farms, we believe in the interdependence of people with one another and with our environment, and we are committed to caring for the land and protecting biodiversity for today's communities and future generations.

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MICHAEL KOCH
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