Enter the United States Championship Cheese Contest beginning Monday, November 12 on USChampionCheese.org for a chance to call your cheese the nation’s best! Hosted biennially since 1981, the USCCC will mark its 20th anniversary in 2019.
“The United States Championship Cheese Contest has steadily grown, with especially enthusiastic participation over the past decade, as cheesemakers and distributors have witnessed the marketing potential of a gold, silver, or bronze medal win,” said Kirsten Strohmenger, Events Manager for the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, the Contest host organization.
In 2017, Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano, made by Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Mike Matucheski at Sartori Company’s Antigo, Wisconsin facility, earned the title U.S. Champion Cheese with an impressive score of 99.02 out of 100. That year, the USCCC saw a 22 percent increase in entries, with a record-setting total of 2,303 products from 33 states evaluated by Contest judges.
New in 2019, the USCCC will add Contest classes for traditional waxed cheddars, natural rinded cheddar, other hard cheeses with natural rinds, and burrata. Entries in a total of 106 classes will be judged on technical merits, including a product’s flavor, body, texture, salt, color, finish, and packaging.
The USCCC’s renowned and respected judging team will be led in 2019 by new Contest Chief Judge Jim Mueller. Mueller has long served as an Assistant Chief Judge under Robert Aschebrock, who will now join Bill Schlinsog as a Chief Judge Emeritus. Mueller has more than four decades of experience as a cheese grader and industry food safety authority.
“I recognize the great privilege and responsibility that comes with service as the Contest Chief Judge, and I’m honored to take on the task,” said Mueller. “Supported by more than 50 cheese experts – graders, buyers, and scientists – our mission remains, as ever, to seek out the very best cheese, and to elevate the craft of cheesemaking across the country.”
Competitors will have real-time access to product scores and evaluations through MyEntries©, a secure online entry system. The fee for online submissions is $65 per product, a $10 savings from the cost of paper entries.
The Contest entry window will be open through January 31, 2019 at USChampionCheese.org. Entries will be evaluated March 5-7 at the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Competitors with questions may contact WCMA’s Kirsten Strohmenger via email at email@example.com or by telephone at 608-286-1001.