Wisconsin is officially known as The Badger State, but I know it as America’s Dairyland. Tracing its roots all the way to Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, the original cheesemakers chose Wisconsin because the soil, water, and climate provided the perfect conditions to craft the most renowned and awarded cheeses this country loves. This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program, curating the best cheese doctors that I personally am thankful for.
“It’s no secret that Wisconsin wins more awards for its cheese than any other state, region, or nation,” says Suzanne Fanning, Senior Vice President for Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Chief Marketing Officer for Wisconsin Cheese. “What may be a secret, though, is Wisconsin’s own Master Cheesemaker program. It is one of the key drivers for our state’s high honors.”
Becoming a Master Cheesemaker is as rigorous as becoming a Japanese sushi chef. Ten years of experience as a licensed cheesemaker is required that includes several years of coursework, a three-year apprenticeship, a written exam that can take up to 50 hours to complete, and a lifetime commitment to cheese. Only 90 cheesemakers have achieved master status since the program’s establishment, rivaling Switzerland’s dedication to the cheesemaking art, as well.
In celebration of this milestone, Wisconsin Cheese is sharing stories and showcasing the new personalized Master’s Marks around the country that’s only on products made by the Master Cheesemakers themselves. If you can’t make it out, you can follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you want to learn more about the program, check out WisconsinCheese.com for more details. Stay with us here at Deli Market News for all the cheesy goodness.