- If you are a lover of Quebec cheese, you are not alone.
- In fact, two cheeses from Quebec Agorpur producers just walked away with the #1 spot at the World Championship Cheese contest.
- Warning: this article may have you craving cheddar.
The dairy company Agropur, which was founded in Granby, Quebec in 1938, has just walked away with two major wins at the World Championship Cheese Contest held in Madison, Wisconsin last week for two types of Quebec cheese. While Agropur is a coop of dairy farmers across North America, it was the Quebec cheddar made in Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil that walked away with two top prizes. Both the Grand Cheddar Aged 3 Years and Grand Cheddar Aged 1 Year took the top spot in their respective categories, with marks of 99.75 and 99.40 respectively, out of a possible 100.
With a mark as high as 99.75, the Agropur Grand Cheddar Aged 3 Years actually made it on the list of the Top 20 cheeses entered into the competition this year, across all categories.
In 2018, Agropur's St-Hubert factory also walked away with a #1 spot for their Camembert, which earned a 99.45.
In total, Agropur took home a total of 13 prizes, though production locations include Wisconsin and South Dakota, as the coop is currently the largest dairy company in Canada by annualized sales and has 39 plants across North America.
The World Championship Cheese Contest is held every 2 years and this year was the 34th event hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.
The contest also takes submissions for butter, yogurt, and dry dairy ingredients.
Though, I didn't see a category for cheese curds...
The Grand Cheddar, seen in the black and gold box you may recognize from the grocery store, above, also won "Best Cheddar in Quebec" last year at the Sélection Caseus.
Each entry at the World Championship Cheese Contest is judged by a "team of skilled technical judges from all over the world."
Each cheese starts with 100 points and receives deductions for "various defects found by each judge."
Defects are "noted in the areas of flavour, body and texture, salt, colour, finish, packaging, and other appropriate attributes."
As you can see above, each category then sees a first, second and third place winner.
If this doesn't have you craving a grilled cheese sandwich or just a plate of cheddar with some apple... well, perhaps you're not a true cheesehead.
I, on the other hand, am going to go buy myself some of the best cheddar in the world, made right here in Quebec.