This Is the World's Best Cheese

Gruyere from Switzerland takes top prize at world's biggest cheese, butter, yogurt competition
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 6, 2020 12:43 PM CST
This Is the World's Best Cheese
Judge Christophe Megevand inspects a piece of Gruyere cheese at the World Championship Cheese Contest on Tuesday at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, Wis. It's the largest technical cheese, butter, and yogurt competition in the world.   (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

A Gruyere from Switzerland has been named the world's best cheese, chosen from a record number of entrants from 26 nations in the World Championship Cheese Contest in Wisconsin. The cheese from Bern, Switzerland, made its maker, Michael Spycher of Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus, a two-time winner. Spycher also won in 2008, the AP notes. Another product from Switzerland, a hard cheese made from cow’s milk called Gallus Grand CRU and made by Hardegger Kaese AG, was runner-up Thursday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The contest is the largest technical cheese, butter, and yogurt competition in the world and started Tuesday in Madison with a record 3,667 entries. The 55 judges taste, sniff, and inspect the 132 classes of dairy products during the biennial contest.

The judges include cheese graders, cheese buyers, dairy science professors, and researchers from 19 nations and 14 states. The last time the competition was held, in 2018, a hard sheep's milk cheese called Esquirrou made in France at Mauleon Fromagerie won top honors. It's imported by Savencia Cheese USA. Three Wisconsin cheeses were finalists: A smoked gouda with cumin from Marieke Gouda of Thorp, a gorgonzola from Emmi Roth of Seymour, and a cheddar from Maple Leaf Cheesemakers of Monroe all made the top 20. One judge and 30 people from a Japanese university couldn't attend the competition because the university didn’t allow international travel due to the new coronavirus, organizers said.

(More cheese stories.)

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