Midnight Moon blew out Montgomery’s Mature Cheddar in the final of Di Bruno Brothers’ March Madness of Cheese yesterday. The underdog pulled off a major upset in grand fashion, taking an 11-1 lead and forcing Montgomery’s to resign under the laws of the Mercy Rule. It was an appropriate way to conclude a tournament filled with surprise results. (Cheeses advanced based on customer vote; any willing customer could taste both cheeses and we would record their preference.)
The upsets began in the Blue Cheese bracket, where in the first round our Champion from 2007, Carles Roquefort, lost to the dark horse, Point Reyes Blue from California. The following day, in equally stunning fashion, Strathdon Blue, an upstart from a remote region of North-Eastern Scotland, defeated a perennial stalwart, Colston Bassett Stilton. Last year, Colston Bassett Stilton came out of the Blue bracket to make the final four, but could not achieve its previous success. In a battle of Cinderellas, Point Reyes dominated Strathdon to make the Final Four.
In the Sheep Milk bracket, Ewephoria, a sheep milk Gouda, easily knocked off the lowest seed, La Serena, to make the Elite 8. There, it would meet Moliterno, a rustic Pecorino from Sardinia, which turned heads with its first round victory over Manchego Dehesa. Ewephoria, with its sweet taste and smooth texture, easily dismissed Moliterno to claim its spot in the Final Four.
The Goat Milk bracket proved to be the most challenging, as every game came down to the wire. Midnight Moon, a medium-aged goat milk Gouda, overcame a 9-5 deficit to Valencay in the waning hours of the game and knocked down a buzzer-beater to advance. Truffle Tremor, the truffled rendition of the highly regarded Humboldt Fog, defeated the pesky upset pick Pantaleo in a hard-fought victory. The competition between the two cheeses from Cypress Grove proved fierce, but Midnight Moon held off Truffle Tremor by a narrow margin.
The most predictable bracket proved to be the Cow Milk quadrant, where Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano defeated Bergkase, a beautiful example of Gruyere from Austria. Montgomery’s Mature Cheddar continued its usual dominance with a laugher over Brie de Meaux, and then over came an early challenge from Cravero to advance to the Final Four.
The two Goudas present in the Final Four met to compete in the championship game. The competition was lively, with multiple lead changes and a margin that never eclipsed two votes, but Midnight Moon prevailed, 19-17. Montgomery’s Mature met firm resistance from Point Reyes Blue, which in the end failed because some people just don’t like blue cheese. Remarkably, it stood tough and lost by only one vote, 12-11.
And in the end, it was Midnight Moon that took the crown and bragging rights for the remainder of 2010. We have reduced the price of our champion in celebration, so feel free to come give it a taste and let us know if you think its worth all the praise!