A small Ohio cheesemaker had a grate day at the U.S. Cheese Championship, held March 7 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Guggisberg Cheese of Millersburg, Ohio won the national honor by scoring an impressive 98.54 points out of 100 for its baby Swiss wheel. Who are we to dis a brie?
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The company isn't new to looking sharp in national competitions. Guggisberg also won in 2015 with its premium Swiss wheel.
"Guggisberg Cheese has found a recipe for success with Swiss cheeses, and our distinguished judges were impressed with the quality of the company's Baby Swiss entry this year," said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, the contest host organization. "We congratulate Guggisberg Cheese, as we salute all the cheesemakers who earned medals in the competition."
The contest, described as the largest technical cheese, butter, yogurt, and dry dairy products competition in the country, has been held every other year since 1981. Sixty judges from 20 states rated each of the record-setting 2,555 entries for flavor, body and texture, salt, color, finish and appearance.
Naturally, the contest was held in America's Dairyland, Wisconsin, though entries came from 35 states. Although it was an Ohio cheese that won (Millersburg is about 80 miles south of Cleveland), Wisconsin cheesemakers dominated, earning gold medals in 60 of the 116 contest classes and sweeping the gold, silver, and bronze medals in 25 classes. New York was second with nine gold medals, and California and Idaho cheesemakers earned six each.
And a Wisconsin cheesemaker, Marieke Gouda of Thorp, Wisconsin, claimed both the first and second runner-up positions. The first runner-up, Marieke Gouda Premium, scored 98.41, just a tenth of a point behind the winner. That's pretty gouda! Here are 17 reasons why you should eat more cheese.