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Wisconsin Cheese Takes Home Grand Prize at World Championship

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For the first time in nearly three decades, a cheese from the U.S. has won the World Championship Cheese Contest.

The Grand Cru Surchoix is made by Emmi Roth USA, a company based in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. It was proclaimed the best cheese in the world in a contest held earlier this month in Madison.

"It just kinda goes to show how hard it is to compete at this stage and win," says Robert Frie, director of operations at Emmi Roth USA. 

The Grand Cru Surchoix is a washed-rind, Alpine-style hard cheese. The winning wheel was aged for fourteen months, and has caramel and mushroom undertones. It scored a 99.882 out of 100 to bring home the grand prize. 

"In these contests you always want to put your best foot forward... definitely go through some lots, taste different pieces, different recipes and then we do a selection and that's what actually is submitted based on what we do as far as a flavor profile tasting," he says.

Here's an inside look at the judging process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scRhAloEQcg

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.