MADISON, Wis. — The stage was set Wednesday night at the sold out Cheese Champion reception at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wis., as the 16 finalists of the World Championship Cheese Contest awaited the announcement of the top cheese in the world. Among the display sat Roth® Grand Cru® Surchoix and with an eruption of cheers it was named the 2016 World Champion.
This marked the first time since 1988 that a cheese made in the U.S. has won the World Championship Cheese Contest. The judging portion of the contest kicked off Monday with a record 2,948 entries from 23 countries and 31 states, and Roth® Grand Cru® Surchoix earned Best of Class in the Smear Ripened Hard Cheeses category with a score of 99.8.
“This is a tremendous honor,” said Tim Omer, President and Managing Director for Emmi Roth USA. “Our cheesemakers in Monroe, Platteville and Shullsburg are producing amazing cheese and I’m thrilled they are being recognized for their achievements on this level.”
The 2016 World Cheese Champion, Roth® Grand Cru® Surchoix, is a member of Emmi Roth USA’s flagship line of Grand Cru® washed – rind Alpine – style cheeses, and is the best of the best of this line. Only a few wheels of Grand Cru® meet the stringent requirements of the company’s cheesemakers to become Surchoix. This cheese is aged a minimum of nine months to create a firm texture and complex flavors of caramel, fruit and mushroom.
“We are privileged to be included in this group of exceptional cheese producers and to earn top honors among so many entries,” said Linda Duwve, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Emmi Roth USA. “Our Roth Grand Cru® line of cheeses is the pride and delight of this company. This award underscores the passion we have in creating an original Alpine – style cheese that reflects our terroir in Southern Wisconsin and is unmatched in the world.”
Emmi Roth USA was awarded two other medals during the standard rounds of judging at this year’s contest. Roth’s Private Reserve was given a second
award in the Smear Ripened Hard Cheese category with a score of 99.7; it is a raw milk cheese that has a robust, earthy flavor with a nuanced sweet and nutty finish that captures the character of the Southern Wisconsin terroir. Roth’s Private Reserve has a history of strong success, and was named Runner-Up to the Best of Show at the 2015 American Cheese Society Competition.
At the World Championship Cheese Contest this year, the company also took home a third place award in the Open Class: Pepper Flavored Cheeses, Medium Heat category for its Roth® 3 Chile Pepper Gouda with a score of 99.4. Crafted from fresh Wisconsin milk, Roth® Gouda is the quintessential Dutch-style cheese, and the chipotle, habanero and jalapeño peppers in the 3 Chile Pepper Gouda add south of the border flavor to a timeless standard.
About Emmi Roth USA, Inc.
Emmi Roth USA, a subsidiary of Switzerland based Emmi Group, is a leading provider of specialty cheeses. The expansive portfolio includes award – winning cheeses from the United States, Switzerland and Europe, each crafted with pride from the freshest local milk. Key cheese brands include Kaltbach™ Cave-aged, Roth® Grand Cru® and Buttermilk Blue®, Best of Class winner at the 2014 World Championship Cheese Contest. Tradition and innovation balance perfectly to deliver distinctive offerings of the highest quality to the retail and foodservice trades.