After a two year hiatus, the California State Fair Commercial Cheese Competition was held on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at Cal Expo. Out of 100 cheese entries from producers throughout the state, the best two cheeses in California have been named.
The Best of Show Cheese – Cow’s Milk has been awarded to Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Inspired by the sheer natural beauty of our coastal climate and locale, Point Reyes Farmstead Bay Blue took the honors. Bay Blue is a rustic-style blue cheese with a natural rind. It is known for its mellow flavor and sweet, salted caramel finish. Bay Blue is made from pasteurized, rBST-free cow’s milk with traditional rennet. It is gluten-free and aged for 90 days. This is their fifth time winning Best of Show for Cow’s Milk.
The Best of Show Cheese – Other Milk Type goes to Central Coast Creamery for their Goat Gouda. This is the producer’s first time winning Best of Show! The Goat Gouda is made from 100% whole goat milk and goat cream, aged on pine wood in a ripening room for at least 5 months. This semi-soft cheese is ivory colored with a smooth mouth feel and the slightly grainy texture of an aged cheese. Goat Gouda has a caramel scent with a slightly nutty and sweet flavor that makes this cheese an ideal choice for your cheese tray, picnic basket, or when pairing with your favorite wine or beer.
The 16 California cheese companies who entered the competition range from small artisan producers to large-scale cheese production companies. Cheese judges are selected from respected cheese merchants, writers, promoters, and educators. The cheeses are entered by Division and Class and evaluated for appearance, aroma, texture, and taste.
This year, a panel of 9 official judges tasted and evaluated all 100 California cheeses at Cal Expo on May 11, 2022. You can find a complete list of the award-winning cheeses at CalExpoStateFair.com/California-Commercial-Cheese.
About the California State Fair
The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology, and the diversity of its people, traditions, and trends that shape the Golden State’s future.