Center of cheese universe returns to Wisconsin

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Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal / AP

Christophe Megevand, of Schuman Cheese, New Jersey, judges the Rhined Swiss Style Cheese category in the opening day of the World Championship Cheese Contest at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wis., Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

Tue, Mar 6, 2018 (4:25 p.m.)

MADISON, Wis. — Two years after a Wisconsin cheese captured top honors, the World Championship Cheese Contest is back for another round.

Organizers say they have a record 3,402 entries for the event that started Tuesday in Madison. That's up 15 percent from 2016.

Fifty-five judges will sniff, taste and inspect 121 classes of dairy products, with entries from 26 nations. Winners are to be announced Thursday night.

Two years ago a smear-ripened hard cheese called Grand Cru Surchoix made by Fitchburg, Wisconsin-based Emmi Roth USA won the biennial contest. The cheese is made in Monroe, Wisconsin. The company is a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Emmi Group.

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