An international panel of expert judges has named a Dutch Gouda-style cheese named Vermeer as the 2012 World Championship Cheese.
Cheesemakers at a FrieslandCampina cheese factory in Steenderen, Netherlands, took top honors out of 2,504 entries from 24 countries for their Vermeer, a semi-soft, reduced-fat cheese. Out of possible 100 points, Vermeer scored 98.73 in the final round of judging, during which judges re-evaluated the top 16 gold-winning cheeses to determine the overall champion.
First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 98.55, is Winzer Kase, a smear-ripened semi-soft cheese made by Kaserai Grundbach company in Wattenwil, Switzerland. Second runner-up is Appenzeller Kase, made by Karl Germann, of Appenzell, Switzerland, which scored 98.34.
“Thousands of cheesemakers from around the world have participated in the largest technical cheese competition ever held. Every medalist should be extremely proud of their accomplishment,” said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which hosts the biennial competition.
Overall, U.S. cheesemakers dominated the competition, earning gold medals in 55 of the total 82 categories judged. Switzerland came in second among the countries, with seven golds. Canada had six gold medals, Denmark five, the Netherlands four, while Germany and Spain each took two. Australia and Austria each captured one apiece.
Among U.S. states, Wisconsin dominated with 30 gold medals. New York took nine golds, while California and Vermont earned three. Idaho and South Dakota each earned two gold medals. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Utah each took one gold medal.
The World Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical cheese and butter competition in the world. For more information on the contest, as well as complete results for all entry classes and contest photos, visit www.worldchampioncheese.org
SOURCE Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association