The Milton Creamery recently brought home two awards from the 2017 American Cheese Society Convention in Denver, CO where nearly 300 cheese producers from across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Columbia enter more than 2,000 cheeses for competition.
The company’s trademark Prairie Breeze added to its award pedigree, earning third place in the aged cheddar category at the ACS event. It had already brought home blue ribbons from the ACS in 2009 and 2011 and also was a top performer at the 2009 US Cheese Championship and the World Cheese Contest in 2010 in London.
Prairie Breeze is a well-aged white Cheddar style cheese, aged for a minimum of 9 months (the contest category called for cheeses aged 12-24 months). It is made with Vegetarian Rennet and no added color.
The local product is described as sweeter than the typical cheddar with lots of flavor, crumbly yet creamy with a little crunch from the Tyrosine crystals developed during the aging process.
But the Milton Creamery was not done there. The local producer also earned a third place award for its Quark entry.
Quark is a fresh, unripened cheese made with cow’s milk. It is described as having a smooth texture, making the mild and slightly tangy in flavor cheese a popular spread. It is often substituted for cottage cheese, or cream cheese or sour cream even.
The Milton Creamery was founded in 2006 by Rufus and Jane Musser. The family fostered a working arrangement with area Amish dairy farms, a partnership that has secured quality milk, the most important building block for fine cheeses.
Milton Creamery’s signature cheese was only in production for one year when it won the company’s first award, Prairie Breeze won a blue ribbon at the U.S. Cheese Championship, as the Best of Class in the open hard class.
The company’s popularity on the judge’s circuit has carried over to business, which is booming. The high demand has led to expansion at the Creamery, with the possibility of even more as space continues to be an issue as the Creamery considers expanding the award-winning Quark line along with the Old Style Cheddar and 4 Alarm Cheddar. With nearly 20 employees, the company continues to grow its workforce as well to meet the increased demands.
Milton Creamery also Ages and markets Flory’s Truckle, an award winning, aged clothbound cheddar cylinder, which was a 2016 first place finisher at the ACS.
The company also produces a number of special cheddar cheese varieties, including Garden Vegetable, Tomato Garlic, Chlli Pepper, 4 Alarm Cheddar and Black Pepper as well as a variety of colby cheeses, including smoked and old style. Another popular product produced by the Creamery are the cheese curds, which come in nine different varieties – curds with chives, smoked, cheddar, olive, dill, Cajun, onion and parsley, tomato garlic, chili pepper and pizza curds.
Customers can purchase cheese online at the Creamery’s website, miltoncreamery.com or can stop by the retail store at the facility, located just west of the Highway 15 and Highway 2 junction near Milton, IA.