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The Best Cheese in the World Is From Wisconsin

There’s no need to travel to the fromageries of France or the dairy farms of Switzerland to sample the best cheese on Earth. According to the judges of 2016’s World Championship Cheese Contest, it can be found in the American Midwest. The Wisconsin-made “Roth Grand Cru Surchoix” was named Best in Show at the competition, marking the first time since 1988 that an American cheese has won the title, Condé Nast Traveler reports.

Though it doesn’t always receive the same level of respect as products made across the pond, Wisconsin cheese is a big deal. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, the state's cheeses have received 4835 national and international awards, more than any other state or nation. But there’s one prize, Best in Show at the World Championship Cheese Contest, that has remained elusive for decades. Wisconsin cheesemakers have snagged the award in the past (they won six out of the seven competitions from 1957 to 1968), but for 28 years they've been passed over in favor of entries from Europe and Australia.

Emmi Roth USA’s Roth Grand Cru Surchoix, an Alpine-style cheese similar to Gruyère, was the cheese that finally broke America’s losing streak. It’s a firm product that's aged for at least nine months to develop complex notes of mushroom, fruit, and caramel. The sample that was submitted for judging was aged for 14 months, and ultimately bested 2959 entries for the top honor. If you aren’t lucky enough to live in America’s cheese capital, you can order the decorated Wisconsin cheese for $13 from Walmart.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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