Attention, cheese heads: Lancaster County creameries took home several awards at the sixth annual cheese competition at the 2020 Pa Farm Show. Judges met in December to taste 57 entries from 18 creameries across the state and consider 15 categories.
Oak Shade Cheese in Kirkwood won two ribbons for its Conebella Farm Sharp Cheddar: Third place in Best of Show and first place in the Cow’s Milk/Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack category. Oak Shade also placed second for its Green Tree Colby cheese.
Owned by cheesemaker Israel Kisinger, who also owns Sunset Farms in Ronks, Oak Shade collaborates with area milk producers and farmstead creameries; the sharp cheddar is made from raw milk Ayrshire cows on Conebella Farm in Elverson.
Clover Valley Creamery in Quarryville, which produces artisanal Camembert-style cheese from cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk, earned a total of three ribbons. Its Blooming Clover came in first for the Cow’s Milk/Mold-Ripened category and its Milky Way got top honors in the Goat’s Milk/Mold-Ripened category. Sheep Dreams, made from sheep’s milk, won second place in the Sheep’s Milk/Open Class category.
This year’s Best in Best in Show went to Farmer Rudolph’s Creamery, in Lebanon, for its gouda-style Sir Farmers cheese, which also won second place at last year’s prestigious American Cheese Society awards. The creamery swept the Semi-Soft, Semi-Hard, Hard Cheese category, earning first, second and third place.
Competing cheeses are available for free daily sampling and for purchase at the Farm Show.