It's been almost 30 years since it happened the last time, but a U.S. cheese just won the World Championship Cheese Contest. And guess what? It was a cheese made right here in Wisconsin.
Itâ€™s true. A cheese made in the United States has won the World Championship Cheese Contest for the very first time since 1988.Â It happened on Wednesday at Monona Terrace in Madison. And the world (literally) has taken notice.
All told, it's a very good time to be proud of the state of Wisconsin â€“ or at least for how great our cheeses are.
The cheese of the moment is Roth Grand Cru Surchoix, a smear ripened Alpine style cheese made by Emmi Roth in Monroe, a creamery with a long (fascinating) history and strong ties to Switzerland.
The cheese itself is made the old fashioned way, using copper vats imported from Switzerland. Very few wheels of Grand CruÂ® are chosen for the honor of becoming Surchoix; but those that are are then aged on wooden boards for at least nine months.
The aging room is pretty fancy at Roth. The view through an observatory window shows the machine that shifts the cheeses from one place to another.
The cheese itself is rich and deep, with a pungent odor and an almost meaty flavor. Itâ€™s delicious served alongside apples or hazelnuts, and fruity red wines absolutely love it.
It also goes amazingly well with chicken. So, while I wouldnâ€™t advise melting it, it is downright perfect added to chicken and apple salad.
And just thinking about it makes me hungry. Fortunately, I can head right down the street to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart and pick up a half-pound of it for just under $9.
And hey, if you feel so inclined, Iâ€™d invite you to do the same. The cheese is also likely to be in stock at cheese shops like the West Allis Cheese Shop and Larryâ€™s Market.Read more...