Meet Wisconsin's most recent award winning cheese: Roth Grand Cru Surchoix.
Meet Wisconsin's most recent award winning cheese: Roth Grand Cru Surchoix.

World Championship-winning cheese from Wisconsin? Yes, please.

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.

It’s true. A cheese made in the United States has won the World Championship Cheese Contest for the very first time since 1988. 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 – 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 Cru® 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. It’s delicious served alongside apples or hazelnuts, and fruity red wines absolutely love it.

It also goes amazingly well with chicken. So, while I wouldn’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, I’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 Larry’s Market.

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This scene depicts even the crusty parts of Milwaukee.
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How much do you "loaf" it? Milwaukee skylines made from bread

If you thought Milwaukee was a town made of cheese, beer and bratwurst, you just might be wrong.

In fact, in this particular case, the city is made of bread.

Three Milwaukee skylines depicting landmarks like the beloved (and closed) Mitchell Park Domes and the Milwaukee Art Museum have been created from bread as part of a project promoting Aunt Millie's Bakeries arrival in Milwaukee.

The family-owned Indiana-based company, which specializes in bread and other bakery products, recently expanded their distribution to include Roundy’s stores in Wisconsin. And, in an effort to show their "loaf" for the new market, they’ve launched a billboard project featuring sculptures of Milwaukee’s skyline created solely from bread.

Three teams worked on the bread sculptures, which will be competing for your vote through the end of March.

Don't be crusty. Visit auntmilliesloavesmilwaukee.com and vote for your favorite.

The winning skyline will be used in a billboard campaign in Milwaukee beginning in April.