5 Wisconsin cheeses have a shot at World Champion title
Out of a record-breaking 3,402 entries in the 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest, just 20 cheeses remain in the hunt for the title of World Champion Cheese, to be announced Thursday night. And five of those cheeses are from Wisconsin, reports The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, the contest host organization.
Eight of the 20 finalists, all first-place winners in their respective categories, are from the United States. Other countries represented among the 20 are Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, France and Canada.
The five Wisconsin cheeses in the running are:
- For cheddar, aged one to two years, English Hollow Cheddar by Maple Leaf Cheesemakers in Monroe.
- Under mild Gouda, the Saxon Cheese Mild Gouda from Cleveland (cheesemaker Eric Steltenpohl).
- In the open class category for flavored cheeses with sweet or “dessert” condiments, Sartori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano from Antigo (cheesemaker Mike Matucheski).
- For surface (mold) ripened mixed-milk cheeses, Cave Aged Chandoka from LaClare Family Creamery in Malone (cheesemakers David Rogers and Team LaClare).
- And under hard mixed-milk cheeses, Sartori Limited Edition Pastorale Blend from Antigo (cheesemakers Mike Matucheski and Erin Radtke).
The World Champion Cheese will be named Thursday night at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison. The announcement can be viewed via Facebook Live on the World Championship Cheese Contest Facebook page at 8:15 p.m.
In 2016, Emmi Roth USA’s Grand Cru Surchoix from Wisconsin claimed the top title. But that was the first American-made cheese to win the biennial competition in 28 years.
The World Championship Cheese Contest, initiated in 1957, is the largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition in the world, according to the cheesemakers association. For more information, including complete results for all entry classes, visit WorldChampionCheese.org.