A baby Swiss wheel made by Guggisberg Cheese, Millersburg, Ohio, was named the best cheese in the United States at the 2019 Cheese Champion event, held at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wis. It’s the second overall champion title at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest for Guggisberg in just four years, said the Madison, Wis.-based Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), the contest’s host organization.
With an impressive score of 98.54 out of 100, Guggisberg Cheese’s winning baby Swiss wheel was crafted by Team Guggisberg Doughty Valley in Millersburg. Guggisberg Cheese won the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in 2015 with its premium Swiss, a traditional-style wheel, WCMA said.
“Guggisberg Cheese has found a recipe for success with Swiss cheeses, and our distinguished judges were impressed with the quality of the company’s baby Swiss entry this year,” said John Umhoefer, executive director of WCMA. “We congratulate Guggisberg Cheese, as we salute all the cheesemakers who earned medals in the competition.”
Marieke Gouda of Thorp, Wis., claimed both the first and second runner-up positions in the 2019 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, WCMA noted. Coming in just one-tenth of a point behind the Champion Cheese, with a score of 98.41, was Marieke Gouda Premium, a Gouda cheese aged 18 to 24 months, and Marieke Gouda Overjarige earned a score of 98.39. Cheesemaker Marieke Penterman of Marieke Gouda is a perennial contender in the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, having won the 2013 competition.
A record-setting 2,555 cheese entries from 35 states were evaluated during the two-day competition in Green Bay, Wis.. A team of 60 nationally-renowned judges hailing from 20 states considered each entry’s flavor, body and texture, salt, color, finish and appearance, scoring entries on a 100-point scale, WCMA said.
Overall, Wisconsin cheesemakers dominated the 2019 competition, earning gold medals in 60 of the 116 contest classes and sweeping the gold, silver and bronze medals in 25 classes. New York cheesemakers earned nine gold medals, while those in California and Idaho earned six each. Gold medals also went to dairy processors in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington, WCMA said.
The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical cheese, butter, yogurt and dry dairy products competition in the country; it has been held biennially since 1981. For more information about the contest, as well as to view complete results for all entry classes and contest photos, visit USChampionCheese.org.