With fall football in full swing and holiday gatherings just around the corner, Savory Dairy Dips were a perfect pairing for the Heritage Cooking Contest sponsored by the Alabama Farmers Federation.
The contest was hosted by the Federation State Women’s Leadership Committee Sept. 5 in Montgomery and required dairy products be used as a primary ingredient. Twenty-nine contestants from across the state entered the competition. All were winners in county cooking contests held earlier this year.
Barbara Whatley of Lee County won first place and $150 for her Smoked Gouda and Bacon Dip recipe. Geneva County’s Elizabeth Usery won second place and $100 with her BLT Dip. Cherokee County’s Shirley Lumsden took home third place and $50 with her Charleston Cheese Dip recipe.
“I like to make this as an appetizer before family gatherings and especially for football games,” Whatley said of her winning dip. “I like the taste of Gouda cheese, and my recipe has bacon in it. Who doesn’t love bacon?”
Cooking contests aren’t new to Whatley. She said she’s won several local beef cooking contests, but a statewide win had her excited and nervous.
“I am so surprised,” she said. “I really like the dip I made, but I wasn’t sure what the judges would think about it. I just can’t believe I won.”
Featuring French bread filled with a mixture of dairy delights, Whatley’s dip ingredients included Gouda cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, red pepper, green onions and chopped bacon.
Judges for the 44th annual cooking contest said the Smoked Gouda and Bacon Dip hit high marks in all categories: flavor, appearance and originality.
“We had a lot of great dips for the judges to consider,” said State Women’s Leadership Division Director Kim Earwood. “They had a hard job picking the top three.”
Food blogger Brooke Burks of The Buttered Home spoke during the contest judging. Her friendly, down-home style resonated with members as she talked about the emotions associated with food and family. Visit her website at TheButteredHome.com.
After winners were announced, contestants and guests sampled all of the state contest entries.
Visit AlfaFarmers.org for all the recipes entered in the state Heritage Cooking Contest.