The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA) has unveiled a strategic plan to expand the dairy case, and as a lover of cheese myself, you won’t hear any complaints from me. With the association’s 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest coming up from March 1–3, 2022, WCMA has announced a host of new and expanded categories, including cheese curds, to shine a light on a range of dairy suppliers.
“Though cheese curds are a familiar staple in Wisconsin, the tradition is becoming a sales phenomenon far beyond the Upper Midwest,” said Executive Director John Umhoefer. “We’re excited to offer this and several other new opportunities for cheesemakers and dairy processors to compete for the international prestige and valuable recognition the World Championship Cheese Contest provides.”
In addition to both the flavored and unflavored cheese curd categories making their debut this year, classes have also been added for regular and flavored cream cheeses. As noted in a release, other new categories include one for semi-soft cheeses with natural rinds, one for cheeses with blue molding, sheep’s milk cheeses with blue mold, and one for smear ripened cheese that are washed with wine or spirits. Two new classes of dry dairy ingredients are also available this year, for instantized whey protein concentrate 80 and whey protein isolate 90.
WCMA has hosted the World Championship Cheese Contest since 1957. In 2022, entrants from across the globe will compete in 141 distinct classes, with top-scoring products in each category being announced on March 3 after two days of rigorous evaluation by an international team of judges. The best cheese in each class will advance to a final round of judging to select the 2022 World Championship Cheese.
Those interested in entering can do so until January 26 by clicking here.
Which products will take home the coveted title? I, for one, can’t wait to find out—and maybe sample a few of the offerings in the meantime.