The 28th Biennial World Championship Cheese Contest is just around the corner. Cheesemaking contestants from around the globe have been sweating and working it out, preparing for this momentous event in the cheese industry.
Wisconsin's capital city, Madison, will be hosting the championships this March 16-18. Admission is free and open to the public from 8am-5pm. The first round of judging begins on the 18th at 8am and then a second round of finalists will be judged with the World's Cheese Champion announced at noon.
An international panel of judges will be sampling more than 2,300 cheeses and butters from all around the world. This number is significantly up from the last championship in 2008, where a gruyere made by Michael Spycher of Kaserei Fritzenhaus, from Switzerland took the undisputed title.
According to Jane Cisler, marketing director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, new categories of cheese have been made in this year's competition to accomodate an explosion in the varieties that have come on the market.
In our midst is a growing appreciation and fascination with cheese where the recognition of the craft, skill and sport of cheese has finally come due.
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