MADISON, Wis. — Two years after a Wisconsin cheese captured top honors, the World Championship Cheese Contest is back for another round.

Organizers say they have a record 3,402 entries for the event that started Tuesday in Madison. That’s up 15 percent from 2016.

Fifty-five judges will sniff, taste and inspect 121 classes of dairy products, with entries from 26 nations. Winners are to be announced Thursday night.

Two years ago a smear-ripened hard cheese called Grand Cru Surchoix made by Fitchburg, Wisconsin-based Emmi Roth USA won the biennial contest. The cheese is made in Monroe, Wisconsin. The company is a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Emmi Group.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.