We were lucky enough to be writing this book during the biennial World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, WI. This is one of the few international cheese competitions, and features 3 days of judging by a host of experts from every corner of the cheesemaking globe. Cheesemakers send in their samples to be judged on on appearance and taste.
We were also lucky enough to be invited to several events around the contest, including a tour of some local cheese factories and several sessions on how to judge cheese and pair cheese with other foods, leading to several days of talking about fantastic wines and inspired blue cheese pairings.
The contest takes over the Monona Terrace (a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building in downtown Madison).
Visitors can watch judges grade cheese in a variety of categories (including goats milk cheeses – flavored , cheddar – mild, and packaging).
Several of the judges and contestants are master cheesemakers, and it was a great opportunity to see people talk about the history and future of cheesemaking in Wisconsin.