Haven’t you always wondered how Wisconsin’s best artisan cheeses stack up against their world counterparts?

Yeah, me too. That’s why I’m partnering with the World Championship Cheese Contest and planning an event on March 17 in Madison, Wis., where we’ll get to taste at least 35 different cheeses, meet 30 international cheese judges from six continents, and shake hands and sample cheeses from 11 award-winning Wisconsin artisan cheesemakers.

I mean, really, what more could you ask for?

Tickets for what I’m calling “An Evening at the World Championship Cheese Contest,” are $20 and are now on sale at www.wisconsincheeseoriginals.com. The event runs from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. on March 17 at the Monona Terrace in Madison. All tickets will be sold in advance, and I expect this event to sell out, so if you’re interested, buy early and buy often.

So what international cheeses can you expect to taste? Your guess is as good as mine. We’ll be picking them out on Wednesday morning, after they’ve competed for gold medals in the 28th biennial World Championship Cheese Contest. I do know there will be cheeses arriving from Argentina, Australia, Cypress, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, so expect to see those countries represented for sure.

Wisconsin cheesemakers attending and sampling their finest cheeses will include: Willi Lehner of Bleu Mont Dairy; Sid Cook of Carr Valley Cheese; Bruce Workman of Edelweiss Creamery; Brenda Jensen of Hidden Springs Creamery; Al O’Brien of Mt. Sterling Cheese Cooperative; Al Bekkum of Nordic Creamery; Chris Roelli from Roelli Cheese; Jerry Heimerl from Saxon Homestead Creamery, Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese, and Joe Widmer from Widmer’s Cheese Cellars. Cheeses from Holland’s Family Farm will also be sampled.

Plus, when you get sick of eating cheese, you can nosh on yummy appetizers. A cash bar will also be available, but alas, no green beer. Hope to see you on March 17 in Madison!

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