At the annual American Cheese Society Judging and Competition held this month in Richmond, Va., the award for “Best of Show” went to Stockinghall by Murray’s Cheese, a cow’s milk clothbound cheddar — made for Murray’s by Cornell University and Old Chatham Creamery in Chatham, Columbia County, and aged in Murray’s caves. In second place was Professor’s Brie, made for Wegmans Food Markets from a mix of cow’s and sheep’s milk, also by Old Chatham and ripened in Wegmans’ caves. The third place winner was Shooting Star Creamery’s Aries, a semifirm, herbaceous sheep’s milk Alpine-style cheese made by Avery Jones, the 15-year-old daughter of Reggie Jones, an owner of Central Coast Creamery in Paso Robles, Calif. The top two winning cheeses, from a field of 1,742 entries, are notable for having been aged by retailers.
The cheese from Wegmans, a small, mild, satiny square, is sold in the grocer’s stores ($9.99 for a 4.32-ounce square). The pale, firm, herbal Shooting Star cheese is available only at Sigona’s Farmers Market in Palo Alto. But Murray’s rich, slightly crumbly Stockinghall is sold online, $30 a pound.