This leap is all about cheddars, Swiss and Goudas, not touchdowns by the Green Bay Packers.
When the 20th U.S. Championship Cheese Contest takes place next month in the atrium of Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, judges will have a record number of entries to score from around the country.
The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association in Madison said Wednesday that entries for the biennial contest are up 11 percent from the 2017 event to 2,555 entries from 35 states. The contest, which began in 1981 and is now the nation’s largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition, also will have entries from 29 first-time competitors.
“The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest has grown steadily over the past two decades,” said Kirsten Strohmenger, WCMA events manager. “We’ve added several new classes this year as a way to reflect the emerging trends in the industry, and that’s part of the reason we’re seeing an increase in entries.”
New classes for this year include traditional waxed cheddars, natural rinded cheddar, other hard cheeses with natural rinds, burrata — a semi-soft Italian cheese — and dried dairy products. Entries in 116 classes will be judged on technical merits, including a product’s flavor, body, texture, salt, color, finish and packaging, with a single gold, silver and bronze medal awarded to top products in each class.
The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest takes place in alternating years with the World Championship Cheese Contest at Madison’s Monona Terrace.