Local Cheesemaker Wins World Championship (in Cheese)

Brian Sheridan

Wisconsin’s most prestigious Gouda cheesemaker is back at it again, this time winning awards on a global level. Western Wisconsin’s Marieke Gouda went to the World Champion Cheese Contest in Madison and dominated the Flavored Gouda Class, taking home first-, second-, and third-place awards for its Caraway, Truffle, and Burning Melange varieties, respectively. And the March 7-9 competition truly was a worldwide one: Nearly 3,000 cheese, butter, and yogurt entries came from 23 countries and 31 states, plus Puerto Rico. Marieke Gouda also took second-place in the Smoked Gouda Class and third place in the Mild Gouda Class. This isn’t a first for the cheese business from little Thorp. Cheesemaker Marieke Penterman and her family, the masterminds behind Marieke Gouda, have collected more than 115 awards for their cheese at both national and international competitions. They won four awards at the American Cheese Society Conference last summer in Rhode Island and were even named the overall winner at the U.S. Cheese Championship in 2013. Their award-winning Gouda can be purchased at their store and online at mariekegouda.com for all those who are looking to sink their teeth into the curdled manifestation of Wisconsin pride.