This past weekend at the 35th annual American Cheese Society Competition (also known as the ACS), judges confirmed what our tastebuds have long been telling us: Wisconsin cheese really is the best.
What Happened at This Year’s ACS Competition?
The 2018 ACS competition is regarded as the Oscars of the cheese industry. It receives nearly 2,000 entries each year; cheeses come from 259 companies in 35 states in the U.S. and five Canadian provinces, as well as Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.
America’s Dairyland maintained a 14-year winning streak, capturing more awards than any other state or country. U.S. cheesemakers from California and Vermont took second and third overall honors, respectively, with Oregon and Pennsylvania also finishing strong.
Sweeping 94 of all 364 medals awarded (that’s an impressive 26%), Wisconsin cheesemakers dominated in five specialty categories. Here are some spots where they won 1st Place—and the recipes we’d make with that cheese:
- Brick Cheese—Widmer’s Cheese Cellars took the prize for its cow’s milk cheese. Grate some brick into one of our top 10 mac ‘n’ cheese recipes
- Brick Muenster—Congrats to the folks at Klondike Cheese Co. for their ultimate Muenster, which would be perfect in this blue-ribbon winning cheesy bread.
- Italian Type Cheeses—Sprinkle BelGioioso’s winning Parmesan over pretty much any 13×9 casserole.
- Flavored Feta—Try Klondike’s Odyssey Tomato & Basil Feta in this Feta Shrimp Skillet.
- Curds—Springside Artisan Cheese has the best cheddar curds around. Fry ’em up, baby!
Why We Love Wisconsin Cheese
Well, Wisconsin is home to the best cheese in the world—and the Taste of Home HQ! Our state also produces 48% of the specialty cheese in the U.S. and currently holds the title for 2017 U.S. Champion Cheese. All of this adds up to one very well-stocked Test Kitchen (take a peek behind the scenes) where we tackle all sorts of cooking challenges in the name of cheese.
All home-state pride aside, as our best-loved recipes reveal, we love cheese—like, all of it. We’ve tried cheese from all four corners of the country and every state in between, and we’ve yet to try one we didn’t want to sample again. You’ll want to see the most cheesy recipes we’ve ever made!
With so many award-winning cheeses and endless recipe inspo, the hardest decision is which one to make first.