Swiss Gruyere wins World Champion Cheese title

Bill Bruce19 Mar 2010 (Updated 24 Mar 2010)

An international panel of expert judges has named a Swiss Gruyere cheese as the 2010 World Champion Cheese.

Cheesemaker Cedric Fragniere, for Emmi Kase AG in Kirchberg, Switzerland, took top honours out of 2,318 entries from 20 countries for his Gruyere. Out of a possible 100 points, the Gruyere scored 98.79 in the final round of judging, during which judges re-evaluated all gold-winning cheeses to determine the champion.

First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 98.52, was Andeerer Traum, a smear-ripened hard cheese made by Sennerei Andeer company in Switzerland. The second runner-up was Gmundner Berg Premium, a semi-soft cheese, made by Alois Pesendorfer Crew, of Gmunden, Austria, which scored 98.46.

"Thousands of cheesemakers from around the world have participated in the largest international cheese competition ever held. Every medalist should be extremely proud of their accomplishment," said John Umhoefer, executive director of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, which hosts the biennial competition.

Overall, US cheesemakers dominated the competition, earning gold medals in 51 of the total 79 categories judged. Canada and the Netherlands came in second among the countries, with five golds apiece. Denmark had four gold medals, while Austria, Spain and Switzerland all took three. New Zealand won two gold medals, and Australia, France and Ireland each captured one apiece.

Among US states, Wisconsin dominated with 21 gold medals. New York took six golds, while Idaho earned five and California four. Vermont captured three golds, Georgia and Pennsylvania two, and Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon and South Carolina each took one gold medal.

The World Championship Cheese Contest is the largest international cheese and butter competition in the world.

See the winners in our 2010 World Champion Cheese gallery.

Source: Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association