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The Netherlands produces the world's best cheese09 March 2012, by James Shaw
The World Champion Cheese Contest produced a shock winner in their search to discover the best cheese in the world.
The best cheese is the world is Dutch!
They crowned a low-fat Gouda named Vermeer, from Friesland Campina, as champion, which fended off strong competition from traditional winners Switzerland.
Friesland Campina didn't even send a representative to the competition, such was their surprise, and the cheesemaker's plant manager, Piet Nederhoed, had to be woken up at 1am to be told the good news.
Critics lavished compliments on the Dutch entry. Dan Konz, a cheese grader from Minnesota, said the winning Vermeer stood out for its "nice, smooth, clean flavour. It had nice body and mouth-feel. A very clean taste."
About the World Champion Cheese Contest
The contest is held once every two years in Madison, USA, and features 2.500 entries from over 20 countries.
There are subtle variations in cheese based on their region of origin, year of creation and the techniques employed by master craftsmen.
Cheeses are judged for their flavour, texture, body and colour by world experts.
Photo by Flickr user eelke dekker
Many types of Dutch cheese are famous, especially Gouda. The Netherlands' position will only be enhanced by winning the world's top spot.
World Champion Cheese Contest finalists
Of the finalists, 7 were from the US, and 5 were from Switzerland, including the 2 runners-up:
› Kaserei Grundbach, a company in Wattenwill, with a smear-ripened semi-soft winner kase
› SO Appenzeller Kase of Appenzell with its Appenzeller cheese
Interested in learning more? Here's a short guide to Dutch cheese!