World Championship Cheese Contest underway

A friendly competition between the world’s best cheesemakers helps move more dairy products in the marketplace, but what makes a cheese the champion? 

Tim Czmowski was the Assistant Chief Judge at the recent World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin.  He tells Brownfield the first thing every judge looks at is the package and appearance, looking for any defects.  Then, they’ll take a core sample to judge appearance, body, texture, and flavor. “I like to work it up in my fingers and get it warm because then, the aroma comes and the last thing we do is taste it. Most times, experienced judges can just about tell what the flavor is going to be based on the touch, feel, and the aroma.”

Czmowski says each cheese starts with 100 points, and deductions start with a tenth of a point. “For a very slight defect, we’ll take point one to point five off. A slight defect will be point-six up to one point, and then a definite, we go from one to two and a half points.”

There were 3,305 entries from 25 countries in this year’s contest.

The World Championship Cheese Contest is hosted by the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association every other year.

AUDIO: Tim Czmowski discusses cheese judging with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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