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World Championship Cheese Contest: Spycher Wins Record Fourth World Champion Title with Gourmino's Hornbacher

World 08.03.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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After three days of intense competition, a washed rind, semi-hard cow's milk cheese has been named the 2024 World Champion Cheese. The cheese, called Hornbacher, is made by now four-time World Champion cheesemaker Michael Spycher at Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus for Gourmino AG in Bern, Switzerland.
World Championship Cheese Contest: Spycher Wins Record Fourth World Champion Title with Gourmino's Hornbacher
Source: World Championship Cheese Contest
With an impressive score of 98.98 out of 100, Hornbacher topped 3,302 entries from more than 400 dairy companies and cooperatives in this year's World Championship Cheese Contest® to win the coveted top prize. Gourmino AG describes the taste of Hornbacher as akin to a "baked potato rind, with with notes of roasted nuts, umami, caramel and onions."

First runner-up in the contest, with a score of 98.92, is Artikaas Vintage Lot 18, an extra-aged Gouda made by Dutch Cheese Makers in Friesland, Netherlands. The second runner-up position was awarded to a surface-ripened mixed milk cheese called Batch #17 made by The Farm at Doe Run in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, USA with a score of 98.91.

"Congratulations are in order for Michael Spycher on achieving the incredible feat of a fourth Best of Show finish at the World Championship Cheese Contest. His win with Hornbacher follows three others, in 2022, 2020 and 2008 with Gruyere, demonstrating his commitment to excellence in the art and science of cheesemaking," said John Umhoefer.

A total of 25 countries and 32 U.S. states were represented in the 2024 World Championship Cheese Contest, with entries submitted across 142 classes. With an impressive 84 Best of Class finishes, American cheesemakers earned the highest number of gold medals, with Wisconsin dairy processors claiming 39 first-place finishes, California cheesemakers earning seven, and Illinois cheesemakers claiming five. Dairy manufacturers from the Netherlands will take home 11 golds, and Swiss cheesemakers finished third in the by-country ranking with eight Best of Class awards.

Hosted by WCMA since 1957, the World Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical dairy products evaluation in the world. A team of 53 internationally renowned judges evaluated all entries over the three-day event, held March 5-7 in Madison, Wisconsin. For more information on the Contest and complete results for all classes, please visit WorldChampionCheese.org.