10 Award-Winning Wisconsin Cheeses to Add to Your Shopping List

(Photo via the Midwest Farm Report)

By Fiona Hatch
August 7, 2023

Wisconsin took home 86 awards at this year’s American Cheese Society Judging and Competition – these are 10 of our favorites.

It should come as no surprise that the Dairy State showed up to win at the American Cheese Society Judging and Competition in Des Moines last month. Wisconsin cheese companies proudly took home 86 awards, including 27 gold, 28 silver, and 31 bronze. Here are 10 standouts we recommend adding to your shopping list.

Crema di Mascarpone by BelGioioso

Mascarpone is a soft Italian cream cheese known for its rich taste and smooth texture. BelGioioso’s take on this classic won gold in the fresh unripened cheeses category. This sweet and light cheese walks the line between snack and dessert and is perfect for either!

Sheep Milk Cheese by Hook’s

You can never go wrong with a traditional cow’s milk cheese, but if you’ve ever wanted to switch things up, Hook’s sheep milk cheese is the place to start! The cheese’s natural earthy and nutty flavor elevates any dish. A great melting cheese, add this flavorful option to your next burger or mac and cheese casserole! Hook’s took home several prizes at this year’s competition, so you know it’s a brand you can trust. 

Breezy Blue Cheese by Kingston Creamery

Kingston Creamery made Wisconsin proud in the blue mold cheeses category with its breezy blue cheese, winning first place for its mix of cow and goat’s milk blue cheese. Something neat about Kingston is that the creamery allows its animals free-range to graze on pasture by using hand milking techniques. And while this blue is still tangy and strong-scented, for those who enjoy a pungent delicacy, Kingston Creamery is the place to get it. 

RELATED: If Wisconsin Were a Country, We’d Rank 4th in Total Cheese Production, & Other Cheesy Facts, Recipes From ‘America’s Dairyland’

Linedeline Goat Cheese by Blakesville Creamery

An ash-ripened goat cheese that’s best after a few weeks of aging, this particular linedeline by Blakesville Creamery won silver in the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest and took gold in the soft-ripened cheese category at this summer’s American Cheese Society competition. If you like a soft spreadable cheese with a creamy texture and mushroom undertones, give Blakesville Creamery a try! 

Belegen by Marieke Gouda

Marieke Gouda took home first place for their belegen, a Dutch-style cheese aged for several months to cultivate its signature flavor. Marieke’s own version of this semi-hard Dutch cheese is smooth and nutty, which they recommend pairing with a good prosciutto or adding to your next egg sandwich. 

Havarti by Buholzer Brothers

Havarti cheese originated in Denmark, but the Wisconsin-owned company Buholzer Brothers made a name for itself with its copycat recipe. Dress this cheese up or down with whatever you pair it with. We enjoy it both as hors d’oeuvres or sliced on a sandwich! And if you want to spice things up, try Buholzer’s dill havarti. 

Smoked Gouda by Arena Cheese

One of Wisconsin’s oldest cheese plants, Arena Cheese is well known in the cheese world. This year, Arena took 3rd place in the Smoked Cheeses category for its gouda, a sweeter cheese from the Netherlands. Some describe its flavor as almost caramel-like, but it is generally characterized by its springy texture. 

Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese by Widmer’s Cheese Cellars

The jalapeno cheddar cheese from Widmer’s Cheese Cellars finished third in the flavored cheese category this year, and for good reason: the sharp, rich flavor of a classic aged cheddar pairs perfectly with the heat of the jalapeno. Widmer’s says this particular cheese tastes great on crackers–perfect for a fall tailgate!

Garlic and Dill Flavored Cheese Curds by Nasonville Dairy

It wouldn’t be a true Wisconsin cheese list if there weren’t some curds! These garlic and dill-flavored curds from Nasonville Dairy took home the gold in the flavored cheese category. Warm garlic paired with tangy dill creates the perfect bite-sized snack.

Rosemary and Olive Oil Asiago by Sartori Cheese

Last but not least, Sartori’s asiago has won several awards, from the Wisconsin State Fair to the Global Cheese Awards. This summer, it finished 3rd in the flavored cheese category. Hand-rubbed with rosemary and olive oil to give it a little extra intensity, this is the perfect cheese to add to your next charcuterie board. 

Click here for the complete list of winners.


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