Watch out, Wisconsin, Iowa’s coming for you


The American Cheese Society’s Cheese in the Heartland competition takes place in Des Moines, Iowa, at the end of July, and will feature over 1,800 entrants // Photo via CaseoArt

For one weekend, Iowa will overtake Wisconsin as the cheesiest state of them all.

The American Cheese Society‘s 33rd annual Cheese in the Heartland competition takes place this year in Des Moines July 27-30, and is on track to be the biggest, most cheese-filled weekend yet.

“We’re on pace to set a record number of conference attendees with more than 1,200 cheese and specialty food makers this year,” ACS executive director Nora Weiser said via press release. “And we’ve already set a record number of over 1,800 specialty cheeses and food items registered for this year’s competition.”

The ACS Judging & Competition, held in conjunction with Cheese in the Heartland, recognizes cheeses for their aesthetic and technical merits. It has grown from 89 entries in its inception to nearly 1,800 different products entered in 2016. Entries are judged blindly by 42 internationally renowned judges. After two days of judging, the first-place winners in each category will be evaluated together, and a “Best of Show” will be chosen and revealed Friday, July 29.

On Saturday, July 30, the Festival of Cheese will allow conference attendees and the general public to sample competition cheeses and accompaniments. Attendees can also purchase artisan and specialty cheese at the Annual Cheese Sale, held the evening of July 30.

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