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Wisconsin has long been known for its award-winning cheeses, and for good reason. Known around the world as America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin has ranked No. 1 in the nation for cheese production for more than a century, since 1910. In 2017, Wisconsin produced a record 3.3 billion pounds of cheese.

“In Wisconsin, cheese is not just something we do – it’s who we are,” says Suzanne Fanning, vice president of marketing communications for the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. “Our culture of innovation, combined with our rich heritage, has inspired some of the best cheeses in the world. Our cheesemakers have the awards to prove it.”

Wisconsin produces nearly half of the nation’s specialty cheese (47 percent) and about 27 percent of the nation’s total cheese. That includes more than 600 different varieties and styles of cheese – far more than any other state. The top selling varieties include cheddar, fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, colby jack blends, string mozzarella, provolone, queso fresco, Muenster, Monterey Jack and havarti.

Wisconsin cheese

Photo by Jeffrey S. Otto/Farm Flavor Media

Wisconsin Cheeses

Specialty cheeses are big business in Wisconsin, too. Roth Grand Cru Surchoix, made by Roth Cheese in Monroe, was named the World Champion at the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest.

“It was the first time a U.S. cheese had won the title in 28 years, an honor we’re very proud of here at Roth,” says Heather Engwall, director of marketing for Roth Cheese. “We were selected as the best cheese out of more than 2,500 entries from more than 25 countries.”

The company’s Roth GranQueso was an American Cheese Society winner seven years in a row, and Roth Chipotle Havarti recently won first place in its category at the 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest.

“These are all honors we cherish, because they showcase the talent and passion of our cheesemakers here at Roth,” Engwall says.

Roth’s signature Grand Cru along with flavored Goudas and havarti are customer favorites.

“Cheeses from Wisconsin earn awards and great reputations because we have a long history of great cheesemakers who have been perfecting the craft of cheesemaking for decades,” Engwall says. “The cheese industry is a family here in Wisconsin. We all support each other and local dairy farms in order to produce the world’s best cheese.”

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