Pictured: Marieke Penterman of Marieke Gouda. Image courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin cheese artisans brought home 25 percent of all awards presented at the World Cheese Awards in Norway in October. Marieke Gouda of Thorp earned the most awards of any U.S. competitor.
The global event brings together cheesemakers, buyers and food commentators worldwide to judge over 4,000 cheeses from over 40 countries. Cheeses are sent from around the world to be judged by teams of technical experts, buyers, retailers and food writers.
“More than 180 years ago, our ancestors chose Wisconsin because the terroir reminded them of the homes they’d left behind in Northern Europe, allowing for the tradition of expert farming and cheesemaking to grow and flourish,” says Suzanne Fanning. Fanning is the chief marking officer of Wisconsin Cheese and senior VP of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. “Wisconsin continues to call to national and international artisans alike, and we are so very proud of the rich, flavorful award-winning cheeses that are produced here.”
Marieke Gouda of Thorp brought home the most awards of any domestic cheesemaker, with 12 ranking goudas. Marieke Penterman was born and raised in the Netherlands, where she grew up on her parents’ 60-cow dairy farm. This is where her passion for dairy cows and dairy farming began. Once in the U.S., she missed the cheese from back home and began researching how to start her own business. Then, she earned her Wisconsin Cheesemaking License. She worked with a local cheesemaker and traveled back to her home country, where she trained alongside two different cheesemakers to make authentic Dutch Gouda cheese.
Other winning Wisconsin Cheese producers are:
- The Artisan Cheese Exchange
- Sartori Company
- Schuman Cheese
- Carr Valley Cheese Co.
- Widmer’s Cheese Cellars
- Hoard’s Dairyman Farm Creamery