FireFly Farms Celebrates Honors at 2010 American Cheese Society Conference

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FireFly Farms, producer of artisanal goat cheeses from Maryland’s Allegheny Plateau, proudly announced that three of its aged goat cheeses received top honors at the American Cheese Society’s (ACS) annual conference and judging held August 25th through 28th in Seattle, Washington.

FireFly Farms, producer of artisanal goat cheeses from Maryland’s Allegheny Plateau, proudly announced that three of its aged goat cheeses received top honors at the American Cheese Society’s (ACS) annual conference and judging held August 25th through 28th in Seattle, Washington.

The 2010 Judging & Competition saw a record number of entries: 1,462 cheeses and cultured milk products from 225 different producers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. A total of 350 ribbons were awarded in 107 different distinct categories. ACS President Christine Hyatt says, “The increase in this year’s entries mirrors the fantastic growth we’re seeing in the industry. As more people strive to make excellent cheese, they are turning to ACS for feedback about their products. The vision of our founders was not only to recognize the best cheeses in our industry, but also to offer feedback and guidance that will improve the quality of all cheeses produced in the Americas. This philosophy is still at the heart of our judging process today.”

FireFly Farm’s aged goat cheese, Black & Blue, received the first place ribbon competing in a class against other blue-veined cheeses made from goat’s milk. This ribbon is the 4th individual honor received by FireFly Farm’s Black & Blue; these honors now include consecutive first place finishes in the ACS judging for 2008, 2009, and 2010.

FireFly’s aged goat cheese, MountainTop Bleu, received the second place ribbon competing in the same class against other blue-veined cheeses made from goat’s milk. This ribbon is the 12th individual honor received by FireFly Farm’s MountainTop Bleu; these honors include selection by Saveur Magazine editors as one of their 50 favorite American cheeses.

FireFly Farm’s aged goat cheese, Bella Vita, received the first place ribbon competing in an open class against other cheeses made from goat’s milk. This ribbon is the 5th individual honor received by FireFly Farm’s Bella Vita; these honors include 2007 Reserve Best-In-Show selection by the American Dairy Goat Association judging.

“We are ecstatic!” said FireFly’s head cheese maker, Matt Cedro. “This is a great honor for us, and we are humbled to have our cheeses recognized on this national stage. We are very proud of all our cheeses - and to receive this type of recognition is wonderful. ”

Assistant cheese maker, Dan Porter, echoed Cedro’s excitement, “To take both top spots in the blue cheese category is awesome. FireFly Farms has held the top spots in the national for our goat’s milk blue cheeses for three years running.”

FireFly Farms cheese is available at farmer’s markets, restaurants and many specialty retail stores. For information on where to purchase please contact the farm directly or visit http://www.fireflyfarms.com.

About the Cheeses:
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. Black & Blue has earned 4 individual awards of excellence since its creation in 2006.

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. MountainTop Bleu has earned 12 individual awards of excellence since its creation in 2002.

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 are certain to please. And it performs equally well in the kitchen, where it grates and melts beautifully. Bella Vita has earned 5 individual awards of excellence since its creation in 2006.

About FireFly Farms:
FireFly Farms offers nationally & internationally award-winning premium goat cheese that features the distinct regional flavors of Mountain Maryland’s Allegheny Plateau. Each cheese is artfully handcrafted and aged with precise detail; and, each offers distinguished flavor, exceptional texture, noteworthy composition, and unprecedented aesthetics. The cheese of FireFly Farms is produced using agriculturally sustainable, locally-sourced fresh goat’s milk and time-honored, traditional methods of goat cheese making.

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ANDREA CEDRO
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