The best fresh cheese curds in America are made in Wisconsin. Officially.
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Curds from two Wisconsin cheesemakers squeaked to the top of the regular and flavored cheese curd categories during the American Cheese Society 2022 Judging and Competition Awards.

Cedar Grove Cheese (Plain) won the cheese curds category while Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese (Kewaunee) took third. Natural ranch cheese curds from Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery (Ellsworth) won the flavored cheese curd category.

Earlier this year, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery’s hickory bacon curds won the flavored cheese curd category in a worldwide cheese contest.

Including the cheese curd winners, Wisconsin cheeses earned 81 medals. Wisconsin dairy producers also snagged nine awards for butters and yogurts. All told, 29 producers in America’s Dairyland earned 90 of the 380 awards.

Marieke Gouda (Thorp) and Widmer’s Cheese Cellars (Theresa) were among the top Wisconsin cheesemakers grabbing eight and seven awards respectively.

Judges scored 1,387 entries in 120 categories in May with awards handed out during a ceremony July 21 in Portland, Oregon. A Raclette-style cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro Bend, Vermont, won best of show.

The American Cheese Society boasts more than 2,600 members. The nonprofit provides advocacy, education, business development and networking opportunities for cheesemakers, retailers, enthusiasts and the extended industry.

Wisconsin cheesemakers category winners

  • American Made/International Style Open Category (cow’s milk): Saxon Creamery, Malone, Saxony Alpine Style
  • American Made/International Style Open Category (sheep’s milk): Landmark Creamery, Belleville, Pecora Nocciola
  • American Originals Open Category: Red Barn Family Farms, Appleton, Vintage Cupola Artisan Cheese
  • Blue-veined cheese, rindless: Hook’s Cheese Company, Mineral Point, Blue Paradise
  • Brick Cheese: Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, Theresa, Traditional Washed Rind Brick Cheese
  • Brick Muenster: Klondike Cheese, Monroe, Muenster
  • Burrata: BelGioioso Cheese, Green Bay
  • Cheddar (aged through 12 months): Hoard’s Dairyman Farm Creamery, Fort Atkinson, Governors Select, cheddar made from Guernsey milk
  • Cheese Curds: Cedar Grove Cheese, Plain
  • Cheese Curds with Flavor Added: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, Ellsworth, Natural Ranch Cheese Curds
  • Colby: The Artisan Cheese Exchange, Sheboygan, Deer Creek the Robin
  • Cold-Pack and Club Cheeses with Flavor Added: Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, Theresa, Green Olive Aged Brick Spread
  • Crescenza and Stracchino style cheeses: BelGioioso Cheese, Green Bay
  • Fat Free and Low Fat Cheeses: Klondike Cheese, Monroe, Odyssey Low Fat Feta
  • Farmstead Category (aged 60 days or more, less than 39% moisture, cow’s milk): Marieke Gouda, Thorp, Marieke Gouda Super
  • Feta (cow’s milk): Klondike Cheese, Monroe, Odyssey Feta
  • Feta with Flavor Added: Klondike Cheese, Monroe, Odyssey Peppercorn Feta
  • Goat’s Milk Cheese Aged Over 60 Days: Blakesville Creamery, Port Washington, St. Germain
  • Mascarpone and Cream Cheese: BelGioioso Cheese, Green Bay, BelGioioso Crema di Mascarpone
  • Monterey Jack: Arena Cheese, Arena, Colby Jack Deli
  • Mozzarella, fresh (8 ounces or larger, balls or shapes): Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Waterloo
  • Mozzarella types: Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese, Kewaunee, string cheese
  • Reduced Fat Cheese with Flavor Added: Renard’s Rosewood Dairy, Algoma, Farmers Cheese with Pesto
  • Sheep’s Milk Cheese Aged 31 to 60 Days: Landmark Creamery, Belleville, Pomona
  • Washed Rind Cheeses open category (cow’s milk): Uplands Cheese, Dodgeville, Pleasant Ridge Reserve

Major dairy companies from around the world have pledged to disclose and tackle methane emissions – but Fonterra is noticeably absent.

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