Grate news, everybody!
A Wisconsin cheese has officially won the World Championship Cheese Contest, marking the first time since 1988 that any American-made cheese has won the honor.
Emmi Roth USA’s Roth® Grand Cru® Surchoix took home the top title. To no one's surprise, the hard smear-ripened cheese comes from Wisconsin, the largest cheese producer in the U.S. The state is nicknamed "America's Dairyland," which for cheese lovers, sounds just as magical as the kingdom from which Mickey Mouse hails. A Wisconsin cheese was responsible for the U.S.'s win in 1988, too.
"The Grand Cru Surchoix is an Alpine-styled cheese cured for more than nine months, which creates complex flavors with caramel and mushroom undertones," the Wisconsin State Journal reports.
“The flavors, they’re really big flavors but they’re balanced,” Russell Smith, a judge from Australia, told the Journal. “The texture is just perfect. Following up with a really nice texture is just as important as the flavor.”
Wisconsin's Grand Cru Surchoix beat out runner-up cheeses from Switzerland and the Netherlands by just decimals.
This year's World Championship Cheese Contest drew a record-breaking 2,955 entries from 23 countries, 31 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, according to a news release. Wisconsin came out big, earning 127 awards total, which comes 38 percent of all awards available. It's the sixth consecutive World Championship in which Wisconsin has won more than 30 percent of all awards.
Wisconsin cheese-makers produce more than 2.8 billion pounds of cheese every year. Imagine the possibilities.