AP NEWS

Center of cheese universe returns to Wisconsin

March 7, 2018

Judges Lars Johannes Nielsen and Kerry Kaylegian inspect a cheddar, aged one to two years, during the World Championship Cheese Contest, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Madison, Wis. The biennial event started Tuesday and runs through Thursday night. Organizers say this year there are a record of more than 3,402 entries, with participation up 15 percent from 2016. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two years after a Wisconsin cheese captured top honors, the World Championship Cheese Contest is back for another round.

Organizers say they have a record 3,402 entries for the event that started Tuesday in Madison. That’s up 15 percent from 2016.

Fifty-five judges will sniff, taste and inspect 121 classes of dairy products, with entries from 26 nations. Winners are to be announced Thursday night.

Two years ago a smear-ripened hard cheese called Grand Cru Surchoix made by Fitchburg, Wisconsin-based Emmi Roth USA won the biennial contest. The cheese is made in Monroe, Wisconsin. The company is a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Emmi Group.

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