- "We were really surprised we won," said Calkins Creamery Cheesemaker Emily Montgomery excitedly. "We won the fresh, unripened cheeses category with our Georgic cheese" at the 2013 American Cheese Society's Judging and Competition.
This national competition takes place every year in Madison, Wis., the most famous state in the nation when it comes to cheese - and cheeseheads. This year, there were 257 American cheesemakers who submitted 1,794 products for judging.
"It is a really expensive contest to enter," she said. "But I really wanted to get feedback about the cheese." After the competition, the judges send back paperwork with the critique and a review. After finding out they won the category, Montgomery said, "It's nice to know that you're in the game."
"We are extremely proud of this prestigious honor for Calkins," she said. "Our team, including associate cheesemaker, James Reglesky, and the entire creamery staff, strive to consistently produce batches of this fresh and delightful cow's milk cheese for our customers." Montgomery also said winning the award was a group effort and extends a big thank you to the entire staff.
The winning cheese is a soft, German style cheese. "It's one of the 18 varieties of cheese we make here," she said.
Montgomery describes the texture of the cheese as being similar to a cream cheese, but a little lighter with a tart finish. She says the lightness is a result of "being made with milk, not cream."
This spreadable cheese is made "like you make yogurt with a slow draining process" to remove the whey from the curd.
The cheese originated in Europe and is a very versatile cheese.
"We sell a lot to restaurant chefs," she said. "They can use it on, or in, everything from breakfast to dinner."
Georgic can be used in cakes, dips and even low-fat spreads. The fat content is less than most creamy cheeses and can also be used in dishes from savory to sweet.
Georgic is used in three of the dips that the creamery sells retail, Ole, Garden, and Italiano Gardenia. "Those dips sell like hot-cakes," Montgomery said.
Herd the Curd
In the early morning hours of Aug. 31, the pastures of Highland Farm will be filled with more than serene dairy cows.
"We are holding 5K run/walk to raise funds for the Michael J. Bryant Foundation," Montgomery said.
Page 2 of 2 - The foundation was started in memory of Bryant in June 2008 to honor his life. A statement from the foundation website states: "During his life, Mike overcame many problems caused by developmental disabilities, giving him a special sensitivity to people who had such needs. He also was devoted to his community, volunteering his time to the local fire company." The fund has continued to grow with sales of a smoked Gouda cheese named Smoke Signal. A percentage of the sales made are donated to the fund.
The money raised goes to assist Wayne County citizens with special needs or developmental disabilities by helping them acquire goods and/or services to allow them to maximize their potential. "We award money every spring to the recipients," she said. The funds will be used to provide not just necessary items, but therapy needs as well.
To register for the first annual Herd the Curd 5K run/walk, visit https://register.bazumedia.com/reg/form?eventID=4396 or www.calkinscreamery.com to learn more.
Online registration is open until Thursday, Aug. 29 and is also available the day of the race starting at 7:30 a.m. Race time is 9 a.m. at Calkins Creamery/Highland Farm.
About Calkins Creamery
In 1841, the Bryant family established Highland Farm in the most northeastern portion of Pennsylvania, just a few miles off the banks of the Delaware River.
Today, the dairying tradition continues on Highland Farm with fifth generation farmer, Bill Bryant, and his son Zack Bryant, and daughter Emily Bryant Montgomery, representing the sixth generation. They established Calkins Creamery on Highland Farm in 2007.
Georgic is available at the Calkins Creamery retail store, 288 Calkins Road, Honesdale, in 8 oz. containers, and also is offered wholesale in 5 lb. containers. Additional, pre-flavored Georgic cheese dips, sold by the Creamery, include Olé, Garden and Italiano Gardenia.
Learn more about Georgic, and other Calkins Creamery cheeses, at www.calkinscreamery.com. The creamery is open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. and from 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. There are no Sunday hours.