American Original Recipe / Open Categories – 3 Elements


Cheesemakers will be asked for a brief explanation of what differentiates their entry.

Cheeses recognized by the ACS as:

  • Unique in their recipe and formulation
  • Different from other acknowledged recipes for cheese types
  • Created with a combination of at least THREE of the following elements that causes it to be globally new and unique from all other cheese types. All new entries are vetting by the J&C committee:
    • RECIPE – when a cheese maker makes measurable changes to any or all of these: pH, vat time, moisture, acidity, treatment of the curd, use of whey or other manipulation of the raw materials of milk or culture or starter agent or salting, brining, or pressing that adds an obvious difference to an existing recipe or is completely new from all other cheese recipes.
    • TEXTURE –when a cheese maker makes noticeable and desirable changes cheese texture qualities with an obvious tactile or mouth feel sensation.
    • COMBINATION OF TWO OR MORE CHEESES OR TWO OR MORE MILKS – when a cheese maker combines two or more cheeses or two or more milks. Must be dairy milk (not soy or almond or other non-animal source).
    • APPEARANCE/ RIND DEVELOPMENT – when a cheese maker creates an enhanced cheese surface or rind development that alters the cheese and/or its appearance, flavor or texture and contributes to its uniqueness as an original recipe cheese.
    • FLAVOR PROFILE – when a cheese maker creates an obvious profile of a specific flavor or combination of flavors not available in other cheese.
    • NON-DAIRY INGREDIENTS – The addition of natural, non-artificial flavor agents or ingredients that contributes to the uniqueness of the cheese as an original recipe cheese. Use of naturally occurring vegetation, produce or habitat materials identifiable and /or sourced at the place cheese is made or aged is encouraged. NON – DAIRY INGREDIENTS should produce an obvious, measurable contribution to the uniqueness / original recipe of the cheese. Added ingredients should be in support of making a cheese creatively unique and not the dominant flavor.
      The use of ingredients and flavor agents commonly used in cheeses entered in Category K: herbs, seasoning, peppercorns, hot peppers, fruits, and liquids is strongly discouraged.
    • RIPENING PRACTICES – when a cheese maker takes unusual steps to ripen their own cheese to create a unique result. This ripening element includes uncommon, complex, overlapping or repetitive ripening methods that measurably and in an obvious way produce uniqueness and originality in the finished cheese.

CC: Original Recipe / Open Category – made from cow’s milk
CG: Original Recipe / Open Category – made from goat’s milk
CS: Original Recipe / Open Category – made from sheep’s milk
CX: Original Recipe / Open Category – made from mixed or other milks