3-19-15 national cheese championships

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The largest cheese, butter and yogurt competition in the nation has started in Milwaukee — and it’s bigger than ever.  The United States Championship Cheese Contest kicked off Tuesday with a record 1,885 entries from 28 states.  Judges will taste, sniff and inspect entries with the final round Thursday night.  Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association executive director John Umhoefer says the number of entries reflects a 10 percent increase from the last national event in 2013.  There’s also more than 100 new cheeses this year, many of them flavored. For instance, 110 cheeses include peppers, a 42 percent increase over 2013. Flavored gouda entries also doubled to 26 entries.  Wisconsin’s cheese association also hosts an international competition. The national and international events are held in alternating years.

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