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Introducing 90 New Certified Cheese Professionals

Think you’re a cheese whiz? 90 Whole Foods Market cheesemongers proved they’re the best of the best by slicing their way through the rigorous third-annual American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional™ (CCP) Exam and passing.

In total, 153 cheesemongers passed this year’s exam. There are now 406 CCPs in the world – 237 (58 percent) are from Whole Foods Market! The new class of Whole Foods Market CCPs represents two countries, 25 states and 78 stores.

The exam tests the cheese knowledge, passion and skills of each cheese professional that passes the exam. Cheesemongers are tested on storage and handling, nutrition, distribution, raw materials, the ripening process, the making process, and categories and types of cheeses.

Rebecca Roppolo from the Vineyard store in San Antonio, TX just passed the exam. She holds the distinction of being a Certified Cicerone (beer professional) and is an introductory level Sommelier (wine professional). For her, the guidance from global cheese buyer Cathy Strange along with six months of intensive study and training with industry professionals rounded out the learning experience.

Is there a CCP in a store near you? For a complete list of Certified Cheese Professionals, visit cheesesociety.org/events-education/acs-certified-cheese-professionals/.

If you’re in the US, visit your store on Tuesday, September 16 from 6-7:30 local time for the next free Cheese Nights sampling event — all about grilling cheeses — to meet your local cheesemongers!

What do you wish you knew about cheese?

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ELYZABETH ESTRADA says …

I want to commend Lauren Surman from WFM North Miami Florida. Who worked long and hard for this title! Congratulations! Thanks for the heads up of the cheese night, I will make sure to come out and personally congratulate her.