MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Ohio cheese makers earned top honors in several classes at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, judged in March.
The contest drew a record number of entries, according to Cheese Market News, with cheese makers from 26 states entering 1,158 items.
Best of class. Cheese maker Joe Wilson of Biery Cheese Company in Louisville, Ohio, earned the Best of Class distinction in the flavored pasteurized processed class. The winning entry was a pepperoni pasteurized process cheese loaf. It scored 98.90 out of a possible 100 points.
Allen Palmer, also from Biery Cheese, placed sixth in the same class with a smoked hot pepper pasteurized process cheese bar entry.
In the pasteurized process class, Wilson finished fourth with an entry of colored American pasteurized process cheese food.
Say Swiss cheese. Of the Swiss-style cheeses, a hallmark of Ohio’s cheese industry, Middlefield Cheese, Middlefield, Ohio, took second and third placings. Scott Baumgartner produced the second-place entry and Rock Argento produced the Swiss in third place.
In the same class, Lee Cahill of Pearl Valley Cheese Company, Fresno, Ohio, finished sixth.
In the Baby Swiss-style class, Middlefield Cheese scored another two prizes. Gary Vaughn produced the fourth-lace Baby Swiss entry and Joel Sloan entered the seventh-place cheese.
In the same class, Ricky Goodin of Minerva Cheese Company, Minerva, Ohio,, finished eighth with a Baby Swiss loaf.
More for Minerva. In the open class, semi-soft cheese division, Minerva Cheese Company cheese makers battled against each other.
Cheese maker Ricky Goodin placed sixth with a Lacey Swiss entry and Mark Banner placed ninth with his Lacey Swiss.
Brewster Dairy Inc., Brewster, Ohio, received a fifth place for its reduced-fat Swiss cheese entry in the open class for hard cheese.
From Pa. In the provolone class, Tim Sallmen of the Dairy Farmers of America cheese house in New Wilmington, Pa., placed eighth.
U.S. champion. The overall U.S. champion was a 40-pound block of extra sharp New York cheddar produced by Ken Root of McCadam Cheese, Chateaugay, N.Y.
McCadam is the first cow’s milk cheese manufacturer – and only the second cheese maker ever – to win “U.S. Champion” for New York cheese (Old Chatham Sheepherding Company won in 2001).
A panel of 16 judges assess each entry on flavor, appearance and technical criteria. The event, sponsored by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, is held in odd-numbered years.
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