Out of possible 100 points,
the Emmentaler scored 97.85 in the final round of judging
MADISON - A Swiss Emmentaler has been named the
top cheese at an international competition in Wisconsin, handing
the nation its fourth win in the past five years.
Cheesemaker Gerard Sinnesberger took top honors
at the 2014 World Championship Cheese Contest with his Original
Schweizer Rohmilch Emmentaler, a large format, big wheel Swiss
Out of possible 100 points, the Emmentaler scored
97.85 in the final round of judging Wednesday. The cheese was
deemed the best of 2,615 entries from 22 countries.
An Austrian entry, called Erzherzog Johann, was
second. Another Swiss entry, Gruyere AOP, was third.
A U.S. cheesemaker hasn’t won the contest
sponsored by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association since
Although Americans weren’t in the top three this
year, they took home the most medals, winning 59 of the 90
categories judged. Switzerland came in second with seven gold
medals, while the Netherlands had five.
Among U.S. contestants, Wisconsin dominated with
33 gold medals. Chief judge Bob Aschenbrock credited the quality
of milk produced by Wisconsin farmers and work done by state
agriculture officials and the Center for Dairy Research at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison.
‘‘They’ve improved the milk supply immensely in
the last 15 to 20 years. When I was making cheese back in the
1960s and 1970s, it was nothing like it is today. Everybody else
follows our lead, basically,’’ said Aschenbrock, a longtime
Four Wisconsin cheese makers made it to the final
round of competition: Brenda Jensen, of Hidden Springs Creamery
in Westby, with a hard mixed milk cheese; Marieke Penterman, of
Holland’s Family Cheese in Thorp, with an aged Gouda; Katie
Hedrich-Fuhrmann, of LaClare Farms in Malone, with a hard goat
cheese; and Steve Bierhals, of BelGioioso Cheese in Green Bay,
with a Parmesan.
Holland’s Family Cheese won best of show with a
smoked Gouda last year at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest
in Green Bay. The national and international competitions are
held in alternate years.
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