The 2014 American Cheese Society (ACS) conference ended Friday, August 1.
For five days, almost a thousand cheese makers and cheese lovers came together in Sacramento to celebrate American made cheeses. Among the presentations and samplings was the Festival of Cheese, where over 1,600 versions of the beloved dairy product awaited the eager judges. Competing in areas such as American Originals, Cheddars and Blue Molds, cheese makers entered the competition from across the nation. When the whey finally settled, Fiore Di Capra‘s Jalapeño Garlic Marinated Chevre took second place in the Marinated Goat Cheese category (Cheese Marinated In Liquid And Ingredients – Made from Goat’s Milk).
The ACS recognition is not the first award for this Southern Arizona cheese maker, however. The notable chevre received a gold medal in the American Dairy Goat Association Competition in 2012 and 2013 with a Reserve Best of Show in 2012.
“It was our first time entering the competition at the ACS and we didn’t expect anything,” said cheese maker Alethea Swift. “We are excited that we entered one cheese and won.”
Located in the San Pedro Valley, Fiore Di Capra has been raising dairy goats for over 35 years. Their passion is evident in their handmade artisan products.
If you want to get your hands on some of the goods, Fiore di Capra can be found at the Heirloom Farmers Market on Sundays from 8am-noon at the Rillito Downs. Blu – a Wine and Cheese Stop inside the Mercado San Agustín also carries select varieties.
“We’re excited for Fiore Di Capra and their recent first place winning at the ACS conference. Alethea and her family produce a wonderful product. It’s great to see Arizona cheese making in the national spotlight,” shared Blu owner Tana Fryer.
Although Blu carries a variety of Fiore Di Capra products, Fryer warned, “You might want to call ahead. Fiore di Capra’s goat cheeses sell fast.”
Blu a Wine and Cheese Stop is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00a.m.-7:00p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:00a.m.-9:00p.m. and Sunday from 11:00a.m.-3:00p.m. 520-314-8262