Episode 104: The American Cheese Society's Certified Cheese Professional Exam with Vanessa Chang, ACS CCP, Part 1

Monday, August 27, 2018
In Part 1 of our interview with Vanessa Chang, ACS CCP, we chat with her all about the American Cheese Society's Certified Cheese Professional (CCP) exam. Vanessa talks about why there is even such an exam, her previous experience in the food world that qualified her to take the exam, how she studied for the exam, and what the it entailed. It's pretty intense! Join us next week for Part 2 where she breaks down how to choose a cheese if you're a novice cheese eater. Plus, we talk about Whiskware's Pancake Art Kit and the spice star anise.

Let's taco 'bout it!

Photography courtesy of Damien Kuhn

Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Food Nerd Shoutout: Our longtime friend, but first-time Hungry Squared podcast listener Josh let us know that he LOVES the jokes at the very beginning. Tee hee! Hey Josh, fan-of-dad-jokes! By the way, have you seen these dad joke competitions here and here?
  • Let's Dig into the Kitchen Drawer: Winter talks about Whiskware's Pancake Art Kit and how it A) doesn't quite fit into Winter's kitchen rules, and B) the shapes don't quite come out nice and clean. Winter loves the other tools by Whiskware, such as this snack container, but this art kit doesn't quite work for her. Winter's rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

Vanessa Chang, ACS CCP

  • "Anybody can love cheese. Anybody can learn to love cheese. If this girl who made pasta sauce with American Kraft singles can be come a CCP, anybody can learn to love artisan cheese." 
  • ACS CCP stands for American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional. This training and accreditation was started in 2012 by the American Cheese Society based in Denver, Colorado and is similar to the type of training and accreditation that a sommelier (wine) or cicerone (beer) would complete.
  • Requirements included having experience in the food specialty field and recommendations from those folks in the field. Vanessa was interviewed by Max McCalman (cheese appreciator and educator).

Photography courtesy of Darren Coleshill

  • Education is key to the designation of ACS CCP, for example, Jess Perrie of Essex Street Cheese, formerly of Beehive Cheese Company, and one of Vanessa's classmates, was a recipient of the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award.
  • PDO Cheeses, or protected designation of origin, were the main focus of the exam. But there is some emphasis on the pioneers of the American cheese movement such as Vermont Creamery, Capriole Goat Cheese, and Cypress Grove Cheese.
  • Milk from cow, goat, sheep, and some water buffalo is covered on the exam. 
  • New in 2018, there is the T.A.S.T.E exam through ACS. This is especially important for tradespeople, such as a cheese grader.
  • Vanessa shared this quote by Anthony Bourdain with our Hungry Squared listeners: "You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese."

Photography courtesy of Jez Timms

  • Introducing Interesting Ingredients: Sharon tells us about the spice star anise and how it's largely found in Asian cuisine. It's star-shaped with a strong licorice flavor.
  • This is where you can find Sharon's mulled wine and cider recipe on this holiday episode.

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    Run Time: 50 minutes

    Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.


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