This week, Madison hosted the world cheese championship. The results are in, and for the first time in almost thirty years a Wisconsin cheese has been crowned best in the world! It beat nearly three thousand other entries from around the globe. Hannah Flood was in Monroe today, where the award-winning cheese is made. She explains why this cheese is so special.
The big cheese is back where it belongs and it’s the best the best of the best. That’s right. The votes are in; a panel of cheese experts named a Wisconsin cheese the best in the world.
“This award winning cheese is one of the best things we’ve done I mean it’s a great award.”
Nate Leopold is a cheese maker at Emmi Roth in Monroe.
“It’s fun I love making cheese.”
The home of the now world famous Grand Cru – Surchoix.
“The flavor is nutty but sweet. I think that’s the best part of it.”
Employee Kathy McKeon tells me what it means to make a ripened hard cheese.
“Basically what that means is that the outer surface of the cheese is actually brushed washed with a salt brine and bacteria brine.”
In other words, it’s delicious.
“This type of cheese has perfect cooking qualities. It melts so it’s perfect for mac and cheese. It doesn’t scorch so it’s great on a French onion soup, pizza, anything I mean any time.”
For almost thirty years the dairy state had a world championship dry spell.
“It’s the Super Bowl of cheese, you know, making.”
But this top-notch hard cheese brings the trophy back to Wisconsin.
“Head feels this big. It’s awesome it’s great. Any cheese maker who would win this award would feel the same way you know just proud.”
So what makes the Surchoix so special?
“Just the time and effort that it takes to make it as good as it is, the time it takes to age and cure this cheese out is phenomenal and it takes a lot of intense labor and handling to make it turn out.”
Nate says despite their cheese prestige, the world champ title won’t change their Wisconsin roots.
“I think we just keep doing what we’ve been doing. That’s what we win awards with so we must be doing it right.”
In Monroe Hannah Flood.