Maine Cheesemaker Makes History by Bringing Home Major National Award
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
A Waldoboro entrepreneur is believed to have done something no other Maine cheesemaker has ever done: win a major award.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Allison Lakin, founder of Lakin’s Gorges Cheese, brought home Best of the Class at the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest. Lakin's win came in the soft cheese flavored category, with a unique profile that certainly symbolizes being from Maine.
The winning cheese was Lakin Gorge's Rockweed, a soft cheese that is flavored with seaweed. Yes, seaweed. Lakin uses Maine powdered seaweed in the cheese to boost that umami flavor, and to make it a unique Maine item. And clearly, it was a hit with the cheese experts.
Founded in 1957, the World Championship Cheese is the James Beard Awards for cheese and other dairy products. It's hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Maker's Association, and judges hundreds of entries in numerous categories ever year.
As the Press Herald reported, this may be the first ever major cheese award for a Maine cheesemaker. The Press Herald spoke to the Maine Cheese Guild, who said they had no recollection of a Mainer winning an award at the championships.
To the victor go the spoils for Lakin. She told the Press Herald that the Rockweed has been selling like crazy, including 40 wheels of it in one day. It's currently listed as "sold out" on the website.
I must admit, I am a relative novice when it comes to seaweed. However, I have never really encountered a cheese I didn't like. I look forward to trying it once the demand falls a bit. I have a feeling it's going to be a popular buy for a long, long time.
Even though the Rockweed is sold out, Lakin's Gorges Cheese still has a great lineup available on their website. Other items, including cuts of meat, are also available.