Local Producers Win Big at Royal Winter Fair

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Ok, confession time.

I’m a food geek.

How much of a food geek?  Well, how’s this: Each year my equally geeky wife and I travel down to the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair in Toronto and check out the craft food competitions.  We spend some quality time in sections of the Coliseum that are rarely visited by others: the jams, preserves, honey, syrup, and dairy competitions.

While the rest of the place is swarmed, we usually have the food section to ourselves.  And we take our time browsing the winning entries.  Like any true food geeks would.

This year, I was happy to note, there were plenty of winners from around these parts and plenty of names that I recognize as being “local” food producers.

While we were shut out in the canning (jams/jellies/pickles), honey (which surprised me with some of the great honey we have here) and the butter categories, we did exceptionally well in cheese and syrup categories.  Remember, this is the largest competition of its kind in Ontario and features producers from across the province and the country.

In other words, winning at the Royal is an indication of both an incredible product and an incredible achievement.

Before I get to some of our local winners, I have to give a shout-out to a couple of the local businesses that were on hand showing off their wares and making me proud to have come all the way down from our beautiful growing area to take part in the fair:

First of all, Sprucewood Handmade Cookie Company of Warkwarth, you make some of the best shortbread on the planet.  I was excited to see people lined up to buy your goods.

And Mariposa Dairy of Lindsay, not only did you kick some serious butt in competition, but you had people buying your goat cheeses like mad.  Congratulations.

Now, on to the results:

Cow’s Milk Cheese

One Extra Mature Cheddar 24 Months or Longer

Empire Cheese & Butter Co-Op, Campbellford, 4th place.

 

One Mature Cheddar 12-24 Months

Empire Cheese & Butter Co-Op, Campbellford, 4th place.

 

One Medium Cheddar 6-8 Months

Ivanhoe, Madac, 3rd Place.

Empire Cheese & Butter Co-Op, Campbellford, 4th place.

 

Mild Cheddar 2-4 Months

Empire Cheese & Butter Co-Op, Campbellford, 3rd place.

Ivanhoe Mild Cheddar, Madoc, 6th Place.

 

One Extra Mild Cheddar 1-2 Months

Ivanhoe Extra Mild Cheddar, 3rd Place

Empire Cheese & Butter Co-Op, Campbellford, 4th place.

 

One Marble Cheddar Any Age

Empire Cheese & Butter Co-Op, Campbellford, 1st place.

Ivanhoe, Madac, 6th place.

 

Stilton Shape Cheddar Two coloured or white, made from ordinary

Cheddar curd, weighing from 4.5 to 5.5 k.g.each

Empire Cheese & Butter Co-Op, Campbellford, 3rd place.

 

 

 

Goat Milk Variety Cheese

In a very impressive showing, Mariposa Dairy of Lindsay took home the Grand Champion Goat Milk Variety Cheese Award – making them the best Goat Cheese maker at the competition.  Congratulations!

 

Firm Cheddar, Mozzarella, Caprano Firm Cheddar, Mozzarella, Caprano

Mariposa Dairy,  Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar, 1st place.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. Lighthall Tomme, 4th place.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. Premium Goat Cheddar, 5th place.

Mariposa Dairy Celebrity International Goat Cheddar aged over 9 m, 7th place.

 

Mold Ripened Brie, Camembert, tre Fratello, L’Extra Goat, La Brie,Triple Cream Brie

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. Nettles Gone Wild, 1st place.

 

Unflavoured Fresh Cheese Cream Cheese, Ghage, Quark, Ricotta

Mariposa Dairy Chevre Original Cup, 2nd place.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. Plain Jane Bagel Chevre, 4th place.

Mariposa Dairy Celebrity International Goat Cheese Original, 5th place.

 

Flavoured Fresh Cheese

Mariposa Dairy Celebrity International Goat Cheese Herb+Garlic, 1st place.

Mariposa Dairy Celebrity International Goat Cheese Mediterranean, 2nd place.

Mariposa Dairy Celebrity International Goat Cheese Fig, 3rd place.

Mariposa Dairy Chevre Mango Chutney Cup, 6th place.

Mariposa Dairy Celebrity International Goat Cheese Cranberry & Cinnamon, 9th place.

Mariposa Dairy Chevre Pesto Cup, 10th place.

 

Maple Syrup

Robert and Jill Staples not only did extremely well in most competitions, but they won the O.C. Grimm Trophy for the best “Reserve” Syrup at the Competition.

Class 1 – Maple Syrup – 2 bottles Canada #1 Extra Light

Robert & Jill Staples, Cavan, 4th place.

 

Class 2 – Maple Syrup – 2 bottles Canada #1 Light

Robert & Jill Staples, Cavan, 1st place.

 

Class 3 – Maple Syrup – 2 bottles Canada #1 Medium

Robert & Jill Staples, Cavan, 2nd place.

Robert W. Mccamus, McCamus Farms, Cavan, 3rd place.

 

Class 4 – Champion and Reserve Maple Syrup

Robert & Jill Staples, Cavan, 2nd place.

 

Class 5 – Maple Sugar – 4 – 125 g. blocks – hard sugar

Robert & Jill Staples, Cavan, 1st place.

 

Class 6 – Maple Sugar – 2 – 125 G. Boxes (Creamed Sugar)

Robert & Jill Staples, Cavan, 5th place.

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