Saputo USA’s Montchevre brand has been awarded top accolades at the 2023 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, where the brand’s Jalapeno Honey Goat Cheese awarded third place in the flavored, soft goat’s cheese milk category, and Goat Milk Cheddar 

“We are thrilled to have the Montchevre goat cheeses continue to be so well received by consumers and professional cheese connoisseurs alike, and are honored to have two of our goat cheeses be awarded in two different categories at this year’s U.S. Championship Cheese Contest,” said Jenny Englert, SUSA Senior Marketing Manager. “We know that U.S. households are buying and consuming goat cheese more than ever, which is why we’re so proud of our Montchevre brand for continuing to create innovative offerings to get more award-winning goat cheese, like our Jalapeno Honey and Goat Milk Cheddar, into the marketplace for consumers to enjoy.” 

The competition has been hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association biennially since 1981. Entries are evaluated by a team of skilled technical judges from across the nation. Starting from a maximum possible 100 points, deductions are made for various defects found by each judge. Defects are noted in the areas of flavor, body and texture, salt, color, finish, packaging, and other appropriate attributes. A gold medal, silver medal, and bronze medal are awarded to the three highest-scoring entries in each class. 

Chicago-based Caputo Cheese earned top honors in fresh mozzarella cheeses. Its Fresh Mozzarella Mini Nodini earned first-place honors in the category.  The company’s Burratini placed second within the Burrata category and Caputo’s Burrata was among the top finishers within the category overall.

“The recognition as either Best of Class or as one of the top finishers in this year’s competition is a great honor,” said Natale Caputo, a second-generation leader of the cheese company.  “Our commitment to quality cheeses is apparent in awards we’ve earned since entering U.S. and world cheese competitions over the past five years."

Prairie Farms received eight top cheese awards and swept the cottage cheese category.

“Starting the year with multiple awards from this prestigious contest affirms the commitment of our dairy farmers and cheesemakers to work together to produce the very best cheese. The contest judges recognized their hard work, and I couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments,” said Matt McClelland, CEO/EVP of Prairie Farms. “As a farmer-owned cooperative, we have complete control of the farm-to-table cycle. The awards are the result of a genuine team effort between our dairy farmers and cheesemakers to convert our highquality milk into best-of-class cheese and dairy products.”

Prairie Farms’ Quincy, Illinois Team earned a 98.6 score with Small Curd 2% Cottage Cheese for the ‘Best of Class’ win. The Quincy team also achieved a second-place finish with a 98.495 score for its Large Curd 4% Cottage Cheese. Quincy went on to sweep the category with a third-place finish and a 98.25 score for Small Curd 4% Cottage Cheese. Following the big wins for cottage cheese were top finishes for the Prairie Farms Mindoro, Wisconsin Team in the Blue Veined Cheeses Category. They earned a nearly perfect 99.675 score and second place for Pasteurized Blue Cheese wheel.

 A complete list of 2023 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is available on its website