And The Winner Is...

An unconventional, award-winning cheddar from the heartland

These days, the cheesemakers of Wisconsin are going way beyond producing plastic-like half-moons of Colby and rubbery cheese curds (not that we don't love a few when they've been battered and fried). In fact, the best-of-show winner at this year's American Cheese Society Competition–the Oscars for domestic fromage–was Carr Valley Cheese, a 100-year-old producer from La Valle in southern Wisconsin.

Owned by the Cook family, Carr Valley won for a new cheese called Snow White, a cheddar made from goat's milk (goat's milk is lighter, whiter and fresher-tasting than cow's milk, hence the name of the cheese). Snow White is made in the traditional manner, unlike most supermarket cheddars. To allow the cheese to breathe and develop its great tangy, nutty flavors, the curds are cooked, cut, stacked and then bound in cloth to form 38-pound wheels.

Snow White is also cave-aged for at least six months, which tames the often intense flavor of goat's milk to a subtler zing. It's complex, fruity and floral, yet still has enough of a cheddary bite to satisfy cheddar traditionalists–maybe even fans of Wisconsin cheese curds.

Carr Valley Snow White Goat Cheddar ($16 a pound) is available at