Wisconsin takes top honors at American Cheese Society conference

New proof that Wisconsin cheesemakers are unsurpassed in their craft: Cheesemakers from America’s Dairyland swept the annual American Cheese Society Competition today in Chicago, Ill., capturing 91 ribbons, including the prestigious Best of Show prize. Many of the winners have strong CALS connections — they’re alumni of our degree program or the many short courses taught by the cheese whizzes in the Center for Dairy Research and Department of Food Science.

Of 1,149 total entries, Wisconsin cheesemakers scored nearly one third of all awards bestowed, more than any other state. America’s Dairyland’s 91 awards included 25 firsts, 32 seconds and 34 third places. Cheesemakers from 181 companies in 30 U.S. states and Canada were represented.

Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook, of Carr Valley Cheese, LaValle, landed 18 ribbons, including Best of Show with his Snow White Goat Cheddar and Third Runner Up Best of Show with Cave Aged Marisa. Holland’s Family Farm cheesemaker Marieke Penterman, Thorp, captured the second most ribbons for Wisconsin, with a total of eight awards for her Dutch-style goudas.

First place ribbons went to:

  • BelGioioso Cheese Inc., Denmark: Romano, Fresh Mozzarella – Prosciutto Basil Log
  • Brunkow Cheese, Darlington: Brun-uusto Jalapeno Baked Cheese
  • Carr Valley Cheese, LaValle: Bread Cheese, Airco, Snow White Goat Cheddar, Cave Aged Marisa
  • Cedar Grove Cheese, Plain: Cumin & Clove Dutch Style
  • Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese: Farmer’s Rope
  • Edelweiss Creamery: Emmentaler
  • Hidden Springs Creamery, Westby: Driftless Cranberry, Ocooch Mountain Cheese
  • Hoch Enterprises, Braun Suisse Käse, Beloit: Cheddar Aged Less Than 12 Months, Cheddar Aged More Than 12 Months
  • Holland’s Family Cheese, Thorp: Marieke Plain Gouda, Marieke Smoked Gouda
  • Klondike Cheese, Monroe: Peppercorn Feta, Dill Havarti
  • Maple Leaf Cooperative, Monroe: English Hollow Cheddar
  • Nordic Creamery, Westby: Capriko
  • Park Cheese, Fond du Lac: Provolone
  • Pine River, Newton: Black Diamond Extra Sharp Cold Pack Cheese Food
  • Roth Käse USA, Monroe: Gran Queso
  • Sartori Foods, Plymouth: Sartori Reserve Raspberry Bellavitano

Wisconsin cheesemakers also swept seven categories:

  • American Originals, Mixed Milk or Sheep’s Milk Cheeses
  • American Originals, Colby Made from Cow’s Milk
  • Mature Cheddars: Aged Longer than 49 months, Italian Type Cheese, Grating Styles
  • Flavored Cheeses, Flavor Added Havarti
  • Fresh Sheep’s Milk Cheeses, Flavor Added
  • Cheese Spreads.