The Better Cheddar Lincoln Broadbooks

Lincoln Broadbooks passed the first-ever American Cheese Society T.A.S.T.E. Test.

Lincoln Broadbooks, manager of The Better Cheddar, is officially one of the biggest cheese experts in Kansas City.

The Better Cheddar has announced that Broadbooks is now a member of the inaugural class of the American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluators (ACS CCSE). He is now part of an elite group of 29 individuals who passed the first-ever ACS T.A.S.T.E. (Technical, Aesthetic, Sensory, Tasting Evaluation) Test, offered by the American Cheese Society. 

“We are delighted that Lincoln is now a part of this elite group of cheese professionals,” says The Better Cheddar owner Ronald Shalinsky. “We have always striven to bring our customers the highest quality cheese, and this credential helps solidify that commitment.”

This is the second professional cheese exam Broadbooks has sat for through the American Cheese Society. The first, the ACS Certified Cheese Professional, was launched in 2012, producing more than 1,000 cheese experts in the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Europe. Of the 29 individuals who passed this second level test, 24 also passed the first test and hold certifications for both, including Broadbooks. ACS Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluators are required to demonstrate continued active participation and professional development within the industry to maintain their credentials, and they must re-certify every three years.

During this three-hour T.A.S.T.E. Test, Broadbooks was asked to evaluate 12 unmarked cheeses and determine the condition and quality of the cheese, in addition to evaluating the cheese flavor, body, texture and appearance. He also performed a single attribute identification test on 10 different prepared solutions, each providing a unique aroma/taste found in cheese, to identify them.

“I taste cheese every day – it is just part of the job – but this test required me to be more technical and thoughtful in the way I evaluate cheese,” says Broadbooks. “The whole process will definitely help us with our cheese pairing classes and our new affinage (or cheese aging) program at The Better Cheddar.”

So, whether you're looking for a new local cheese, getting recommendations for building a great cheese plate or seeking the best melting cheese for fondue, getting an expert opinion is as easy as heading to The Better Cheddar.

“Sensory analysis is a vital part of curating a great cheese selection, and we want our customers to know that they can get expert advice from the only Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator in the immediate seven states,” says Shalinksky.

The Better Cheddar, multiple locations, thebettercheddar.com

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Jenny is Feast's contributing editor for Kansas City. She brakes for chef's coats.

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