Wisconsin cheesemakers continued their winning streak at this year’s American Cheese Society’s (ACS) annual competition, capturing more awards than any other state for the thirteenth consecutive year. This year’s competition, held in Denver, Colorado, garnered a record 118 ribbons for Wisconsin cheese and dairy products, including 34 Best of Class awards. That’s twice as many as the second-closest state.
Wisconsin cheesemakers, butter and yogurt makers, claimed 29 percent of all awards, including 34 first place ribbons, 35 second place and 49 third place. Out of 108 cheese awards, 56 went to certified Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers.
In addition, Wisconsin cheese and dairy companies swept nine categories:
• Fresh Unripened Cheeses, Cheese Curds – all milks
• American Originals, Brick Cheese – made from cow’s milk
• American Originals, Brick Muenster – made from cow’s milk
• Italian Type Cheeses, Grating Types – all milks
• Flavored Cheeses, Feta with Flavor Added – all milks
• Flavored Cheeses, Rubbed Rind Cheese – all milks
• Smoked Cheeses, Open Category – made from cow’s milk
• Cultured Milk and Cream Products – all milks
• Cheese Spreads, Open Category Cold Pack Style – all milks
Thirty-three Wisconsin companies received one or more awards at the competition. Several companies had particularly strong showings. Klondike Cheese Co. of Monroe took home 14 awards, including first place ribbons for Odyssey Peppercorn Feta and Odyssey 2% Greek Yogurt. Maple Leaf Cheesemakers Inc. of Monroe earned nine awards, with first place ribbons for Aged Brined Twin Grove Gouda, Low-Fat Cheddar, Reduced Fat Cured Gouda and Jalapeño Jack. Edelweiss Creamery of Monticello won eight awards, including firsts in Edelweiss Emmentaler and Tuscan Dream Semi-Soft Italian-Style Cheese. Schuman Cheese of Turtle Lake took home seven awards, with a first place ribbon in Cello Organic Copper Kettle Parmesan.
“We are proud of the talent, passion and dedication that earned our Wisconsin cheesemakers another strong showing at this year’s competition. Wisconsin is honored to be among the many other incredible cheese and dairy products represented from across America.” said Suzanne Fanning, Vice President of National Product Communications at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Wisconsin’s winning streak continues after taking top honors at the 2017 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest and 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest. The 2017 ACS competition included a record 2,024 entries from 281 companies from North, Central and South America.