It’s really only a matter of time before I attend every cheese contest I can find. In the meantime, I must content myself with reporting from afar. The Wisconsin Cheese Maker’s Association (WCMA) is hosting the World Championship Cheese Contest on March 3-5. Already, this event has a record-breaking 3,667 entries in the 2020 competition, a staggering increase from the 2018 event.
“The World Championship Cheese Contest continues to grow year-after-year,” said Kirsten Strohmenger, Events Manager. “With more entries than ever before, the 2020 contest is set to be our largest and most exciting one yet.”
Cheesemakers from 26 nations will gather to show off the best dairy products they have to offer. The United States will be represented by 36 states, including, of course, the lovely state of Wisconsin.
“Both in the U.S. and around the world, our contest’s gold medal on the labels of award-winning cheese drives consumer purchases and boosts sales,” said Strohmenger. “Our contest offers them the chance at a lucrative title with a guarantee of fair and impartial technical evaluation from a team of internationally-renowned judges.”
Entries are evaluated by a team of skilled technical dairy product judges selected from around the world, a press release noted. When approximating the worth of the cheese, judges consider flavor, body and texture, salt, color, finish, packaging, and other appropriate attributes. A gold medal, silver medal, and bronze medal are awarded to the three highest scoring entries in each class.
“As trends in cheesemaking shift, so too do classes in the World Championship Cheese contest,” said Strohmenger. “Ensuring that every cheese is fairly judged against the standards of its type ultimately ensures that when our judges name the Grand Champion, you know it truly is the best cheese in the world.”
The World Championship Cheese Contest will include 132 classes of dairy products, including new categories for dried milk and whey powders, which received 103 submissions. The brand new “extra-aged gouda” classification brought in a notable spike of gouda submissions, which increased by 35 percent.
We here at Deli Market News are excited to see what award-winning cheeses will come to the forefront! Stick around for more.