Brodhead cheese curds win at cheese world championships
The Best of Class award goes to Steve Stettler of Decatur Dairy for muenster cheese curds.
MADISON, Wis. (AP/WMTV) — The largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition in the world started Tuesday in Wisconsin, with 2,978 entries from 29 nations.
The 53 judges taste, sniff and inspect the 141 classes of dairy products during the biennial World Championship Cheese Contest, this year held at Madison’s Monona Terrace.
Steve Stettler, a Master Cheesemaker from Decatur Dairy in Brodhead, won best in class in the unflavored cheese curd category for his Muenster Cheese Curds.
“To get first place in fantastic,” said Stettler. “Being the first master in cheese curds and then this being the first time it was a cheese category in the world cheese contest, I can’t ask for anymore.”
Wisconsin sweep the cheese curd category. Rounding out the top spots for the unflavored were Arena Cheese earning 2nd place with a score of 99 and Nasonville Dairy out of Curtiss in 3rd with a score of 98.9.
In the flavored category, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery won best of class for the Ellsworth Hickory Bacon Cheese Curds and second place for the Ellsworth Hot Buffalo Cheese Curds. Taking 3rd with an entry of Horseradish Cheddar Cheese Curds was Cedar Grove Cheese out of Plain, WI.
The number of entries is down from 2020 when it was a record 3,667 and that’s partly due to supply chain issues, labor shortages and shipping issues, according to Grace Atherton, communications director for Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which organizes the event.
Competition judge Matt Zimbric said having the contest in his own backyard is pretty awesome.
“That’s one of the best things, that you get people from around the world coming here,” said Zimbric. “It’s almost like the cheese capital of the world for two days where you get judges from all over the world, and we come here and talk cheese together.”
The competition runs through Thursday. To view all of the results, click HERE.
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