Roland Sahli of Gourmino AG examines the aroma of a piece of cheese at the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy World Championship Cheese Contest on Facebook.
Roland Sahli of Gourmino AG examines the aroma of a piece of cheese at the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy World Championship Cheese Contest on Facebook.

KAUKAUNA — Castello Smoked Cracked Pepper Gouda from Arla Foods in Hollandtown was one of 20 finalists at the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest, which announced its winner Thursday.

This year’s winner was the Gourmino Le Gruyère from Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus in Bern, Switzerland. It’s the third time the cheese has taken the top honor at the contest having won in 2020 and 2008.

The gouda swept the top three spots in the category, with Dave Newman’s entry named best of class, Scott Lopas a second and Dennis Schneider a third.

In addition to the gouda, Arla Foods’ Dofino Havarti won the havarti flavored category. Trace Peterson’s entry won best of class in that category and Zach Miller’s entry won a second award.

The Hollandtown dairy was built in 1897 and began licensed production for Arla Foods in 1998 before Arla purchased the dairy in 2006.

Hosted biennially at Monona Terrace in Madison by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association since 1957, the World Championship Cheese Contest drew 2,978 entries in 144 classes by cheesemakers from 29 countries, including the United States with entries from 33 states.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.