March 21, 2009

Cheese trophy returns to Wisconsin

The U.S. Cheese Championship Contest trophy has returned to Wisconsin after two years of going to other states.

The winner, selected Thursday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, was a Parmesan produced in Antigo, Wis., the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Second prize went to a goat's milk cheese from Oregon and a New York state cheddar took third.

But the top prize was back in the state that regards itself as the center of U.S. cheese.

This year's contest had a record 1,360 competitors from 32 states. Two years ago, the top prize went to a New York cheese and an Indiana cheese came out on top in 2005 -- although Wisconsin has won 11 of the 15 contests held every two years since 1981.

There's never been so many cheeses in one place at one time -- ever, said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association.

The winner, SarVecchio Parmesan, is produced by Sartori Food Corp.