Cheese and beer have long defined Wisconsin, that’s an undeniable fact. And, with the recent announcement of Titletown being names the Best Brewpub in America, most Wisconsinites slept well knowing that when it comes to beer, Wisconsin is still #1. But there’s still some of us out there wondering “what about the cheese?!”
Those heads can rest easy too now, with the Wisconsin-based cheese maker Roth winning First Place at the World Champion Cheese Contest! Held in Madison from March 7th to the 9th, over 2,900 cheeses from all over the globe were contested against one another to find the best cheese in the world.
And lo-and-behold, it comes from Wisconsin.
Who is Roth Cheese?
Roth is a highly awarded company with a long standing history of cheese making. Originally founded in 1863 as O. Roth & Cie in Switzerland, the company has spent 153 years cultivating a large variety of cheeses ranging from havarti to blue to butterkase. Now known as Emmi Roth USA and located closer to home in Monroe, Wisconsin, they’ve crafted some very highly awarded dairy products, including the Grand Cru! Read more about their history here.
What is the Grand Cru?
The Grand Cru is crafted in a traditional, alpine style that shares similarities with gruyere. Of course, only the best Wisconsin milk is used to create this Wisconsin-made cheese! The Swiss approach is followed meticulously by using copper vats for heating and culturing, and wooden boards for aging. After aging for at least four months, the Grand Cru is ready to be eaten…or is it?
What is the Grand Cru Surchoix?
The Grand Cru Surchoix is the most recent winner of the World Champion Cheese Contest. But considering its craftsmanship, it’s an award justly won! “Surchoix” (pronounced ser-schwaah) is French for “top quality”. This is accomplished by picking very few select wheels of Grand Cru and then washing the rind. In turn, this causes an even growth of bacteria around the outside once it’s been smeared. With additional aging and the added bacteria, a beautiful cheese is born from the cellars. The Grand Cru Surchoix is ultimately characterized as semi-hard and smear-ripened. Honestly, a cheese so well done, that it’s won the title of “Best in the World”!