MADISON (WSAU) A low-fat Gouda cheese from the Netherlands won the top award last night at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison. It’s a Dutch Vermeer cheese made by Friesland Campina, which is based in the city of Wolvega. The company did not have anyone at the competition. The manager of the plant which made the cheese, Piet Nederhoed, was sleeping when a contest judge called him at one-in-the-morning local time – and he was excited about winning. The company will receive its prize at a banquet in Madison next month.
There were 16 finalists for the top award, and five were from Wisconsin. A semi-soft winzer-kase cheese from Switzerland was the first runner-up. An Appenzeller Swiss cheese took third place.
The contest attracted a record 2,500-plus entries in 82 categories. For the first time, spectators watched the final judging – and a full house of 400 were on hand.