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]

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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