This week, over 50,000 pounds of cheese rolled into Madison, Wisconsin for the biannual World Championship Cheese Contest.
The competition is considered the World Cup of cheeses and draws heavy hitters of the cheese world from the U.S. and France.
This year, there was a record 2,503 entries from 24 different countries, including first-time competitors from India, Estonia, Romania and Croatia.
NPR explains the technique that the judges used to evaluate the 2,503 entries to narrow the field down to a winner in each of the 82 categories,
Like wine and coffee, competitive cheeses are evaluated on a number of factors ”” judges look at the exterior, smell it, feel a piece by hand and in their mouth, taste it and then spit.
It was the Dutch who reigned supreme taking home the grand title for a Dutch Gouda made by FrieslandCampina.
Civilian cheese connoisseurs are invited to taste the entrants during the World Champion Cheese Contest’s public tasting. But no worries, if you want you can actually swallow the cheese, you don’t have to spit it out like the professionals.
Read more at NPR.