Hail the conquering heroes! Wisconsin Cheese has proved itself a major player in the cheese industry, with a stunning 168 total awards at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. With a record-breaking 2,555 entries from 35 different states, the wins are no small feat. Many of its cheesemakers won multiple awards, making Wisconsin Cheese the star of the show.
"Congratulations to all the winners from across the country,” said Suzanne Fanning, Chief Marketing Officer, in a press release. “We are so proud of our Wisconsin cheesemakers not only because of the many awards they brought home this week, but also because of the passion and innovation they put into their craft every single day. Because of our many amazing makers, Wisconsin really is the State of Cheese."
One of the biggest winners was Marieke Gouda of Thorp, WI, who was named first and second runner-up for Marieke Gouda Premium and Marieke Gouda Overjarige, respectively. Marieke crafts dozens of authentic Dutch-style gouda varieties using time-tested, Old World cheesemaking methods and farmstead-fresh, raw cow’s milk from the family farm in northern Wisconsin. The cheesemaker is no stranger to awards, having also won the U.S. Grand Champion title at the competition in 2013 and a second runner-up title in 2017.
Wisconsin Cheese crushed the competition by sweeping 26 classes, proving its mastery of many varieties, including aged cheddar. Wisconsin Cheese dominated the Traditional Waxed Cheddar—Sharp to Aged class. Team Artisan Cheese Exchange won Best of Class for Deer Creek The King, Henning’s Cheese snagged first runner-up for Two Year Old Cheddar, and Springside Cheese claimed second runner-up for Aged Cheddar.
The 168 total awards won include 57 Best of Class awards, 58 First Runner-Up awards, and 53 Second Runner-Up awards. 51 Wisconsin dairy companies won one or more awards, and the companies that won five or more awards include Marieke Gouda, Klondike Cheese Company, Carr Valley Cheese, Sartori Company, Agropur, Mill Creek Cheese, BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Lactalis, Foremost Farms USA—Chilton, AMPI, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company, and Saputo Cheese U.S.A. Inc.
Move over France, it sounds like there’s a new cheese Mecca in town!
For more results from the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, keep reading Deli Market News.