Out of a record-breaking 2,555 entries in the 2019 United States Championship Cheese Contest, just 20 cheeses remain in the hunt for the U.S. Champion Cheese title, said the Madison, Wis.-based Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), the contest's host organization. A team of 60 elite cheese judges evaluated entries from 35 states March 5 through March 7 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The team judged the entries based on technical merits, including flavor, texture, appearance and taste.
The names and makers of the cheeses being judged for the top prize include, by order of class number:
- Class 2: Cheddar; medium (three to six months); Cheese name: Medium Cheddar; Maker: Team Cabot; Company: Cabot Creamery Cooperative; Location: Cabot, Vt.
- Class 4: Cheddar, aged one to two years; Cheese name: Extra Sharp Cheddar; Maker: Team Middlebury; Company: Cabot Creamery Cooperative; Location: Middlebury, Vt.
- Class 6: Traditional waxed cheddar, mild to medium; Cheese name: English Hollow Cheddar; Maker: Maple Leaf cheesemaking team; Company: Maple Leaf Cheesemakers Inc.; Location: Monroe, Wis.
- Class 8: Natural rinded cheddar; Cheese name: Top Hat English Truckle Cheddar; Maker: Sara Richards; Company: Door Artisan Cheese Company LLC; Location: Egg Harbor, Wis.
- Class 13: Baby Swiss style; Cheese name: Baby Swiss Wheel; Maker: Team Guggisberg Doughty Valley; Company: Guggisberg Cheese; Location: Millersburg, Ohio
- Class 26: Brick & Muenster; Cheese name: Muenster; Maker: Matt Henze; Company: Decatur Dairy Inc.; Location: Brodhead, Wis.
- Class 33: Gorgonzola; Cheese name: Gorgonzola; Maker: Team Seymour; Company: Great Lakes Cheese; Location: Seymour, Wis.
- Class 38: Edam & Gouda; Cheese name: Europa; Maker: Arethusa Farm Dairy; Company: Arethusa Farm Dairy; Location: Bantam, Conn.
- Class 39: Gouda, aged; Cheese name: Marieke Gouda Overjarige; Maker: Marieke Gouda Team; Company: Marieke Gouda; Location: Thorp, Wis.
- Class 41: Smoked Gouda; Cheese name: Smoked Traditional Gouda; Maker: Maple Leaf Cheesemaking Team; Company: Maple Leaf Cheesemakers Inc.; Location: Monroe, Wis.
- Class 47: Washed rind/smear ripened hard cheeses; Cheese name: Roth Pavino Cheese; Maker: Team Emmi Roth; Company: Emmi Roth; Location: Monroe, Wis.
- Class 56: Open class: hard cheeses; Cheese name: Marieke Gouda Premium; Maker: Marieke Gouda Team; Company: Marieke Gouda; Location: Thorp, Wis.
- Class 57: Open class: hard cheeses with natural rind; Cheese name: Roth Grand Cru Reserve Block; Maker: Team Emmi Roth; Company: Emmi Roth; Location: Platteville, Wis.
- Class 60: Open class: flavored hard cheeses; Cheese name: Sartori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano; Maker: Team Sartori; Company: Sartori Co.; Location: Plymouth, Wis.
- Class 62: Open class: smoked soft and semi-soft cheeses; Cheese name: Smoked Burrata; Maker: Team Calabro; Company: Calabro Cheese Corp.; Location: East Haven, Conn.
- Class 79: Surface (mold) ripened goat's milk cheeses; Cheese name: Bijou; Maker: Aged Cheese Team; Company: Vermont Creamery; Location: Websterville, Vt.
- Class 82: Hard goat's milk cheeses; Cheese name: Goat Cheddar; Maker: Team Central Coast; Company: Central Coast Creamery; Location: Paso Robles, Calif.
- Class 87: Hard sheep's milk cheeses; Cheese name: Ewereka; Maker: Team Central Coast; Company: Central Coast Creamery; Location: Paso Robles, Calif.
- Class 88: Soft & semi-soft mixed milk cheeses; Cheese Name: Seascape; Maker: Team Central Coast; Company: Central Coast Creamery; Location: Paso Robles, Calif.
- Class 90: Hard mixed milk cheeses; Cheese Name: The Creamery Collection Batch #17; Maker: Team Doe Run; Company: The Farm at Doe Run; Location: Coatesville, Pa.
A complete list of gold, silver, and bronze medalists by class is available now at USChampionCheese.org.
The 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest winner will be named for the first time at Cheese Champion, a crowning reception set for Thursday, March 7 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wis., WCMA said. The event is nearly sold out, but for a limited time, tickets remain available at USChampionCheese.org.
The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, initiated in 1981, is marking its 20th biennial edition in 2019.