The Wisconsin umbrella is feeling pretty on top of the dairy world after this year’s World Championship Cheese Contest. Together, the state took home 40.5 percent of the total awards given.
“Wisconsin cheesemakers once again demonstrated they are truly masters of their craft with wins from 50 different Wisconsin cheese and dairy companies in the competition,” said Suzanne Fanning, VP of Marketing Communications for Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB), in a press release. “The competition was a delicious celebration of cheeses from across the globe, and we congratulate all the winners in this year’s contest.”
This year’s contest broke previous entry records, with 3,402 vying for titles in 120 categories from 26 countries, as well as 32 U.S. states–15 percent more than the 2016 competition.
Five of the top 20 global cheese finalists in contention for World Champion were from Wisconsin, winning 147 awards in total.
The state’s cheesemakers won 49 Best of Class Awards, 51 second place, and 47 third place awards, also sweeping 22 of the 120 competition classes as follows: Traditional Waxed Cheddar, Sharp to Aged; Parmesan; Aged Asiago (over 6 months); Feta; Brick, Muenster; Havarti; Havarti, Flavored; Gouda, Mild; Smoked Gouda; Brie; Latin American Style Melting Cheeses; Paneer; Open Class: Semi-soft (Semi-hard) Cheeses; Open Class: Flavored Cheeses with Sweet or 'Dessert' Condiments; Cold Pack Cheese, Cheese Food; Cold Pack Cheese Spread; Spreadable Natural Cheeses, Flavored; Flavored Soft & Semi-soft (Semi-hard) Sheep's Milk Cheeses; Lowfat Yogurt, Cow's Milk; Flavored High Protein, Cow's Milk; Open Class Shredded Cheese Blends, Flavored & Unflavored; Natural Snack Cheese.
Ten Wisconsin cheese companies won five or more total awards in the competition, including:
Behind Wisconsin cheesemakers, New York walked with 26 awards, followed by Switzerland and The Netherlands with 19 awards each.
Congratulations to all entrants, who clearly brought their best to this world-wide contest!