Grafton cheesemakers win national award

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(Host) The Grafton Village Cheese Company has earned an award from a prestigious cheese competition for the twelfth year in a row. The National Association of Specialty Food Trades hosts the annual competition to judge about 5,000 cheeses in 29 categories.

This year, the Grafton Cheese Company won a gold medal in the outstanding classic cheese category for their “Classic Reserve Cheddar.” Chad Bissette is in charge of marketing for Grafton Cheese. He describes his company’s prize-winning cheddar cheese:

(Bissette) “It’s a 24-month aged cheddar. It has wonderful flavor nuances and complexities, it’s very bold. Many people refer to it as an extra sharp – we prefer to say we make a flavorful cheddar.”

(Host) Bissette says the quality of the cheese comes from the process used to make it. He says the company uses the same the methods the original Grafton cheese cooperative used over 100 years ago:

(Bissette) “We still have open vats, we still cheddar our curd, which his to literally roll the slabs of curd to drain the whey – and our cheesemakers do that by hand. We then mill the curd, and they salt the curd and we shovel the curd into hoops by hand, and lift the hoops onto presses and press.”

(Host) Twenty employees make 5,000 pounds of cheese each day.

Bissette says as far as he knows, the Grafton Cheese Company is the only cheesemaker to have a 12-year winning streak at Specialty Food Trade annual competition.

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