Door County cheese is second-best in country, Kewaunee County cheese maker wins four classes
ASHWAUBENON – A Door County cheese was edged out of being named the best in the U.S., while a Kewaunee County cheese maker was a quadruple gold medal winner Thursday at the 2023 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, which was held over three days at the Resch Expo near Green Bay.
The Vintage Cupola American Original Cheese made by the team at Door Artisan Cheese Co. in Egg Harbor was named first runner-up in the championship, scoring 98.613 points out of 100 in the final judging. The champion cheese is a Europa made by Arethusa Farm Dairy in Connecticut that scored 98.739. Door Artisan makes the Cupola line of cheeses for Red Barn Family Farms of Appleton, and they're available at the Door Artisan store and across the state.
The Door Artisan/Red Barn Cupola was named by judges as one of 20 finalists out of 2,249 total entries in 113 classes for the championship. The Cupola was named Best in Class in the open class hard cheeses category, scoring 99.44 points in class judging.
Another big winner from the area was Jeremy Robinson of Agropur in Luxemburg, whose cheeses earned four Best in Class awards. Robinson's mozzarella scored 99.275 points, his part skim mozzarella scored 99.385, his smoked provolone scored 99.65, and he won the reduced sodium cheese class with a 99.3 for his reduced sodium provolone. He added a third place in the mild provolone class with a 99.625 score.
Agropur cheese makers Pat Doell and Ezra Frazer also picked up medals in mozzarella and provolone classes. Doell placed second in mild provolone at 99.725 and third in mozzarella at 99.13, while Frazer earned third places in part skim mozzarella with a 99.28 and smoked provolone with a 98.725.
Two cheese makers from BelGioso Cheese of Denmark also won Best in Class awards: Robert W. Wheeler for his burrata, which scored 99.29, and Kevin Benzel for his aged provolone, which scored 99.225.
Other silver medal winners from the area are Mitch Borzych of BelGioso, who scored 98.65 in the Asiago category for his Asiago fresco; and Jose Morin of BelGioso in the natural snack cheese class with 99.495 for his fresh mozzarella snacking cheese.
Other third-place winners from the area are the Renard's Cheese/Rosewood Dairy team of Algoma in the natural snack cheese class, 99.485 for their Renard's Whips; Ricardo Gutierrez of Door Artisan Cheese, who scored 98.8 in the aged gouda class; Macie Oresti of BelGioso, whose mascarpone scored 98.44 in open class soft cheeses; and Dominic Manzi of Belgioso, whose black truffle burrata scored 98.7 in flavored open class soft cheeses.
The contest is held every other year by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which also sponsors the World Championship Cheese Contest in alternating years, although this was the first U.S. contest held since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Entries came from 35 states, and Wisconsin cheese makers earned more than half of the gold medals available, 54 in its 113 classes, which included not just cheeses and cheese spreads but also butters, yogurts, wheys and milk powders.
For more on the contest, visit uschampioncheese.org.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Door County cheese is second-best in country, Kewaunee County cheese maker wins four classes