Real California Cheeses Bring Home 28 Awards at Annual American Cheese Society Competition

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TRACY, Calif. – August 1, 2016 – California cow’s milk processors displaying the Real California Cheese and Milk seals brought home 28 awards from the 2016 annual cheese competition held by the American Cheese Society (ACS), July 27-30, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa.

The American Cheese Society recognizes the finest cheeses and dairy products made in the Americas. A record number of 1,843 cheese and cultured dairy products were entered into the competition. California cheeses had another strong showing this year competing against 260 producers representing 37 states, plus Canada and Columbia.

California cow’s milk cheeses displaying the Real California seals won eight first-place, 12 second-place and eight third-place awards in this year’s judging. Highlights from these wins include:

  • Karoun Dairies Inc, Turlock, 1st for Karoun Mediterranean Labneh, Cultured Milk and Cream Products – Other Strained Cultured Products – All Milks and 1st for Gopi Indian Yogurt, Cultured Milk and Cream Products – Yogurts – Plain With No Additional Ingredients – Made From Cow’s Milk
  • Fagundes Old-World Cheese Company, Hanford, 1st for Hanford Jack, American Originals / Monterey Jack – Made from Cow’s Milk
  • Marquez Brothers International, Inc., San Jose, 1st for Queso Panela Tray, Hispanic and Portuguese-Style Cheeses – Fresh, Unripened – All Milks
  • Rumiano Cheese Company, Crescent City, 1st for Dry Monterey Jack, American Originals / Dry Jack Made From Cow’s Milk and 1st for Organic Smoked Mozzarella, Smoked Cheeses – Smoked Italian Styles – All Milks
  • Sierra Nevada Cheese Company, Willows, 1st for Organic Jack Baby Bella Mushroom, Flavored Cheeses – Monterey Jack with Flavor Added – All Milks and 1st for Graziers Grass-Fed European Style Butter, Unsalted – Butters – Unsalted Butter With or Without Cultures – Made from Cow’s Milk

In total, 13 Real California cow’s milk cheese and dairy producers won awards.

Additional California wins included 2nd place recognition for Bellwether Farms’ Whole Milk Ricotta and Crème Fraîche; Central Coast Creamery’s Holey Cow; Fiscalini Cheese Company’s Bandage Wrapped Cheddar and Karoun Dairies’ Blue Isle Yogurt; 2nd place for Triple Crème Brie with Truffles and 3rd place awards for Petite Breakfast 4 oz. and Jalapeño Brie all from Marin French Cheese Company; 2nd place for Foggy Morning with Garlic and Basil and 3rd place for San Geronimo from Nicasio Valley Cheese Company; 2nd place for Peluso Teleme and Hacienda Queso Doble Crema and 3rd place for Hacienda Queso Fresco from Peluso Cheese Company; 2nd place for Fresh Mozzarella from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company; 3rd place for Organic Unsalted Butter from Rumiano Cheese Company; 3rd place for Artisan Style String Cheese from Sierra Cheese Company; and 2nd place for Sierra Nevada Cheese Company’s Cultured Classics Hot Pepper Cream Cheese and Crème Kefir and 3rd for Organic Jack – Traditional and Graziers Kefir – Plain.

California produces more than 250 varieties and styles of cow’s milk cheeses that carry the Real California Cheese and/or Milk seal, which certifies they are made with 100 percent milk from California’s more than 1400 dairy farm families. Real California cheeses and dairy products can be found at retailers throughout the U.S., Mexico and Asia. For more information about California cheese and dairy products that carry the Real California Cheese or Milk seal, visit: For more information on ACS competition winners, go to: