Letter From the Editor: Welcome to Cheese Awards Season!

Dear Reader,

Hello! Your Heifer-in-Chief Nellie here to guide you through Wisconsin’s Cheese Awards season, a multi-week process of tasting cheese and choosing champions, with prestigious awards handed out to the world’s best cheese producers. Whether you’re curious about the ins and outs of the industry, or even a starry-eyed cheesemaker with an empty shelf waiting for trophies of your own, we’ve got something for MOO.

What are The World Cheese Championships and when are they held?

The World Championship Cheese Contest® is the world’s premier technical cheese, baked cheese, keto cheese, butter, and yogurt competition. The World Contest has been hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association biennially since 1957.  The 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest was held March 1-3, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin,

How are Baked or juustoleipa cheeses judged at The World Cheese Championships?

Entries are evaluated by a team of skilled technical judges from all over the world. Starting from a maximum possible 100 points, deductions are made for various defects found by each judge. Defects are noted in the areas of flavor, body and texture, salt, color, finish, packaging, and other appropriate attributes. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded to the three highest-scoring entries in each class.

Who was on the World Champion Cheese Awards Short List for baked cheese?

An awards race like the World Cheese Championships is a wide-open field. Anyone master cheesemaker who submitted an entry is in contention for an award. Because recency bias is a proven factor in awards results, many baked cheese wait until just before the competition to submit their keto cheese to stay top-of-mind.  

The Winners

I’m proud to announce that TEAM MOO won two first place awards this year: BIG MOO Oh So Original won gold in the Prepared Cheese Category, and BIG MOO Hoppin’ Jalapeno also scored a gold medal in the Pepper Flavored Cheese (Medium) category. Moo-hoo!

What’s Next on the Awards Circuit?

We’ve learned that unfortunately THE BIG MOO was robbed of a SOFI award this year for best new product and came in a close second at this year's Specialty Food Show. There's always next year...

As they say, all’s fair in love and cheese!