Are any of these 20 best cheeses made in America in your fridge?
GREEN BAY - After two days of viewing, sniffing, squishing, tasting and spitting, judges in the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest have named the 20 best cheeses made in America. Wisconsin cheesemakers accounted for 10 of the top 20 spots led by many of the names familiar to Wisconsin cheese lovers: Emmi Roth, Marieke Gouda and Sartori.
Cheesemakers from five other states (California, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Vermont) including past champion Guggisberg Cheese, which is located in Ohio, are among the finalists.
If you're looking for surprises, there is Vermont cheesemaker Cabot Creamery Cooperative landing a pair of cheddars (mild and extra sharp) in the top 20. There's also a goat cheddar from California in the mix.
The contest judged by cheese and dairy experts scores each cheese on its technical merits and how closely it meets industry standards.
Sights from the 20th United States Championship Cheese Contest held at Lambeau Field on March 5-6, 2019. Green Bay Press-Gazette
Cheeses winning individual class categories are judged a second time to determine the top 20. The winning cheese, best in show, will be revealed Thursday night.
20 cheese finalists
Roth Cellars Pavino, Emmi Roth, Wisconsin
Roth Grand Cru, Emmi Roth, Wisconsin
Aged Gouda, Marieke Gouda, Wisconsin
Marieke Gouda Premium, Marieke Gouda, Wisconsin
Smoked Traditional Gouda, Maple Leaf Cheese, Wisconsin
English Hollow Waxed Cheddar, Maple Leaf Cheese, Wisconsin
Gorgonzola, Great Lakes Cheese, Wisconsin
Muenster, Decatur Dairy, Wisconsin
Sartori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano, Sartori, Wisconsin
Top Hat English Truckle Cheddar, Door Artisan Cheese, Wisconsin
Ewereka, Central Coast Creamery, California
Goat Cheddar, Central Coast Creamery, California
Seascape, Central Coast Creamery, California
Europa, Arethusa Farm Dairy, Connecticut
Smoked Burrata, Calabro Cheese, Connecticut
Baby Swiss Wheel, Guggisberg Cheese, Ohio
The Creamery Collection Batch #17, The Farm at Doe Run, Pennsylvania
Bijou, Vermont Creamery, Vermont
Extra Sharp Cheddar, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Vermont
Medium Cheddar, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Vermont