UPDATE: Latest Cheese Champion Puts Small Wis. Town on Map

UPDATED Friday, March 14, 2013 --- 11:00 a.m.

THORP, Wis. (AP) -- The Clark County town of Colby is where Colby cheese was created in 1885. But now cheese lovers have another Wisconsin destination to visit -- the nearby town of Thorp, the hometown of the nation's top cheesemaker.

Marieke Penterman won the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay this week. Her Marieke Mature Gouda cheese took top honors out of a field of 1,700 cheese entrants.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says her family already had plans to build a 100-acre farm and creamery, with viewing windows where tourists could watch the 300 cows being milked. They hope to have the new facility up and running in early October.

Thorp has a population of 1,600, and is about 40 miles east of Eau Claire.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, March 13, 2013 --- 10:55 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin Gouda has been named the nation's top cheese.

Marieke Penterman of Holland's Family Cheese in Thorp, Wis., won the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay Wednesday with her Marieke Mature Gouda.

Out of a possible 100 points, Marieke Gouda scored 98.31 in the final round of judging.

First runner-up was Tarentaise, a semi-hard alpine cheese made by Spring Brook Farm/Farms For City Kids Foundation in Reading, Vt. Second runner-up was Medium Cheddar, made by Team Cracker Barrel Natural Cheese, Agropur Weyauwega for Kraft Foods in Glenview, Ill.

More than 1,700 cheeses were entered, including pepper-flavored, smoked and sheep cheeses.

Wisconsin captured the most gold medals, with 47 of the 81 categories judged. Vermont and New York came in second, with six gold medals each.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Cheese makers from around the country have gathered in Green Bay in the hopes that their cheese will be named best in the nation.

The preliminary rounds of the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest began Tuesday in the Lambeau Field atrium. The top cheeses in each category advance to Wednesday night's championship round.

More than 1,700 cheeses were entered in 82 classes, including pepper-flavored, smoked and sheep cheeses.

John Umhoefer (UM'-hay-fer) is the executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. He says there seems to be an increase in spicy cheeses this year, as though cheesemakers are racing to see who can make the hottest cheese.

The biennial event has been held at Lambeau Field since 2009. Organizers say this year's number of entries is a record.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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