Once again Wisconsin cheesemakers were in the spotlight at the World Championship Cheese Contest, winning more awards than any other U.S. state or country. Five of the top 20 global cheese finalists in contention for World Champion were from Wisconsin.
This year's contest drew a record-breaking 3,402 entries, 15 percent more than the 2016 competition, in 120 categories from 26 countries and 32 U.S. states. Wisconsin captured 40.5 percent of all awards, winning 147 awards in total – five times more than its closest competitor, New York, with 26 awards, followed by Switzerland and The Netherlands with 19 awards each.
Wisconsin cheesemakers won 49 Best of Class Awards, 51 second place, and 47 third place awards. Wisconsin also swept 22 of the 120 competition classes: 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.
“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, Marketing Communications of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). “The competition was a delicious celebration of cheeses from across the globe, and we congratulate all the winners in this year’s contest.”
Ten Wisconsin cheese companies won five or more total awards in the competition: Klondike Cheese Co. (12 awards), BelGioioso Cheese Inc. (8 awards), Schuman Cheese (7 awards), Saxon Creamery (6 awards), Lactalis (6 awards), Sartori Cheese (5 awards), Carr Valley Cheese (5 awards), Emmi Roth USA (5 awards), Marieke Gouda (5 awards), Yodelay Yogurt (5 awards).
For a complete listing of Wisconsin's awards, visit WisconsinCheese.com.