The biennial U.S. Championship Cheese Contest came to a close on Mar. 9.
The contest is considered the largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition in the country.
The Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano has been named the best cheese in the country.
Sartori also won the title in 2009.
A cheddar from Weyauwega and a gouda from Thorp were first and second runners-up.
The number of cheeses, yogurts and butters competing at this year’s contest is at an all-time high.
The contest’s organizer, Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, says that’s because cheese makers are seeing what a contest win does for sales.
Case in point: Wisconsin cheesemaker Emmi Roth USA won last year’s world championships with their Grand Cru Surchoix. Since then they’ve increased production at their Monroe plant by 280 percent. It takes nine to 11 hours to make and then sits on wood planks in their cellar for nine months.
There were over 2,300 entries for the contest this year, which started in Tuesday in Green Bay.
In 2015, the last time the national contest was held, there were nearly 1,900 entries.
Wisconsin had the most entries from any states, but more than half came from 32 other states.