Cheeseheads rejoice for Wisconsin cheese named best in world

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The Grand Cru Surchoix won in its category in the World Championship Cheese Contest, the first time a U.S.-made cheese has won in nearly 30 years. It is an Alpine-styled cheese cured for more than nine months. // Image via Emmi Roth USA

For the first time in nearly 30 years, a cheese made in the U.S. has won the World Championship Cheese Contest, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. And it just so happens that victorious wedge was made in the city that celebrates cheese like no other.

Roth Grand Cru Surchoix, a smear ripened hard cheese produced in Monroe by Fitchburg-based Emmi Roth USA, was named best in show Wednesday, March 9, out of a record 2,955 entries from around the globe. The cheese is an Alpine-styled cheese cured for more than nine months, which creates complex flavors with caramel and mushroom undertones, and scored a 99.8 to win its category.

Tim Omer, president and managing director of Emmi Roth USA, hoists a wheel of his world champion cheese at the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest at Monona Terrace // Photo by M.P. King for Wisconsin State Journal

Tim Omer, president and managing director of Emmi Roth USA, hoists a wheel of his world champion cheese at the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest at Monona Terrace // Photo by M.P. King for Wisconsin State Journal

An American cheesemaker hasn’t taken top honors at the contest since 1988, when Dale Olson of Grantsburg’s Burnett Dairy Cooperative in northwestern Wisconsin won for a string cheese.

Cheesemakers from Switzerland have won four of the last five world championships. Other winners over the years have come from the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, and Australia.

[H/T Wisconsin State Journal]


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