FireFly Farms, Among the Most-Awarded in the US, Proudly Celebrates Another 15 Awards for its Handmade Cheeses in 2019

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FireFly Farms, nationally and internationally-awarded maker of artisan cheese, proudly celebrates another successful year earning fifteen new individual awards won by its acclaimed line of cheeses in national and international cheese judging programs in 2019. Six of these awards were earned at October's World Cheese Awards, making FireFly Farms one of the most awarded cheese makers in the United States.

FireFly Farms Artisan Cheese Grop

FireFly Farms is proud of its respected place among American cheese makers,” remarked FireFly Farms’ President Mike Koch.

FireFly Farms, nationally and internationally-awarded maker of artisan cheese, proudly celebrates another successful year earning fifteen new individual awards won by its acclaimed line of cheeses in national and international cheese judging programs in 2019. Six of these awards were earned at October's World Cheese Awards, making FireFly Farms one of the most awarded cheese makers in the United States.

“It has been a great year for FireFly Farms,” remarked National Sales Director, Cristi Menard. “These fifteen new awards bring FireFly Farms’s individual award count to a staggering one hundred and twenty!”

“FireFly Farms is proud of its respected place among American cheese makers,” remarked FireFly Farms’ President Mike Koch. “American cheese making is booming, and the quality of American cheeses now rivals that of our European peers. We’re proud that as the competitions grow, FireFly Farms’ cheeses continue to be recognized among the very best!”

The cheese judging programs recognizing FireFly Farms’ cheeses included:

  • The Good Food Awards hosted by the Good Food Foundation and held in January in San Francisco, California. The Good Food Awards were created to redefine ‘good food’ as being tasty, authentic and responsible.
  • The American Cheese Society Competition & Judging, the leading competition of American-made cheeses which takes place each year in conjunction with the annual American Cheese Society conference. The ACS cheese judging, held in July in Richmond, Virginia, is the largest annual competition held in the United States with nearly two-thousand individual entries from hundreds of American cheese manufacturers. Three awards were earned by FireFly Farms at the 2019 ACS Competition and Judging.
  • The Maryland Cheese Guild’s annual Maryland Artisan Cheese Contest held in conjunction with the Maryland Wine Festival annually in September at the Carroll County Farm Museum. Five awards were earned by FireFly Farms at the 2019 Maryland Artisan Cheese Contest.
  • The World Cheese Awards hosted by The Guild of Fine Food in the United Kingdom and held this year in October in Bergamo, Italy. This worldwide event is the largest cheese competition on the planet. Six awards were earned by FireFly Farms at the 2019 World Cheese Awards, making it one of the most highly recognized cheese makers in the United States.

Ten of FireFly Farm’s cheeses, including four recently launched cheeses, were recognized with new awards this year:

  • Piloted in 2015 and launched this year, its soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese Bloomy Breeze received a prestigious Super Gold Medal at the World Cheese Awards. The Super Gold designation was awarded to eighty-four cheeses in this year’s competition, only six of which are manufactured in the United States.
  • Piloted in 2015 and launched this year, its long-aged cow’s milk blue cheese Moo & Blue received a prestigious gold medal at the World Cheese Awards and a second gold medal in the Maryland Cheese Guild’s Artisan Cheese Contest.
  • Launched in 2017 for FireFly Farms’ fifteenth anniversary, its soft-ripened spruce-banded goat’s milk cheese Merry Goat Round Spruce Reserve received a gold medal and a Judge’s Choice Award in the Maryland Cheese Guild’s Artisan Cheese Contest and a bronze medal in the World Cheese Awards.
  • Launched this year, FireFly Farms’ herby harissa flavored fresh goat cheese received a bronze medal in the Maryland Cheese Guild’s Artisan Cheese Contest.
  • FireFly Farms’ fresh goat cheese received a silver medal in the Maryland Cheese Guild’s Artisan Cheese Contest.
  • Its soft-ripened goat’s milk cheese, and one if its three originally launched products, MountainTop received a Good Food Award and a bronze medal in the World Cheese Awards. These two new awards bring MountainTop’s total individual award count to thirty – FireFly Farms’ single most-awarded cheese. Previous awards include a 2005 selection by Saveur Magazine editors as one of their 50 favorite American cheeses and its international recognition at the World Cheese Awards in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, and now 2019.
  • Its washed-rind goat’s milk cheese Cabra LaMancha received a third-place award in the American Cheese Society Competition & Judging and a silver medal in the World Cheese Awards. These two new awards bring Cabra LaMancha’s total individual award count to twenty-two. Previous awards include a 2005 selection by Southern Foodways Alliance as one of the “Top 10” American goat’s milk cheeses and its international recognition at the World Cheese Awards in 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015, and now 2019.
  • Its long-aged goat’s milk blue cheese Black & Blue received a second-place award in the American Cheese Society Competition & Judging. This new award brings Black & Blue’s total individual award count to twenty. Previous awards include a total of seven first-place finishes in the ADGA commercial products competition in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
  • Its long-aged goat’s milk Italian-style cheese Bella Vita received a second-place award in the American Cheese Society Competition & Judging in the ACS’s highly competitive Italian-style cheese category open to all milk-types. This new award brings Bella Vita’s total individual award count to thirteen. Previous awards include a 2010 first-place award at the American Cheese Society Competition & Judging, and a Super Gold Medal at the 2010 World Cheese Awards

“These fifteen new awards for our handmade cheeses are just fantastic,” commented FireFly Farm’s head cheese maker, Dan Porter. “We are especially proud of the recognition for our newly launched cow’s milk cheeses. It’s so nice to see the efforts of farmers and our cheese makers recognized.”

About FireFly Farms Inc.
Founded in 2000 by partners Mike Koch and Pablo Solanet, FireFly Farms now comprises a community of cheese makers and cheese mongers dedicated to making excellent cheese and creating value for their regional farming community as well as Garrett County Maryland’s rural economy. They are committed to ensuring their operations are sustainable and protect our natural environment for future generations. FireFly Farms is a proud member of the Maryland Cheese Guild and the American Cheese Society. They enthusiastically support the growth of sustainable farming, food production, and artisan cheese making in their region and across the nation.

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Stacy Gaither

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