• Coronavirus fears can't stop the fromage
In Wisconsin today, the world's largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition kicked off with a record 3,667 entries from 26 nations.
Some 55 judges will inspect, sniff, and eat samples of 132 classes of dairy products during the World Championship Cheese Contest.
Judges include cheese graders, cheese buyers, dairy science professors, and researchers from 19 nations and 14 states, AP reports:
The last time the competition was held in 2018, a hard sheep's milk cheese called Esquirrou made in France at Mauleon Fromagerie won top honors. It is imported by Savencia Cheese USA. This year's winner will be announced Thursday.
One judge and 30 people from a Japanese university could not attend because the university didn't allow international travel due to the new coronavirus, Sweeney said.
There will be extra hand-washing stations and hand sanitizers for the judges "out of an abundance of good intention," she said. Otherwise, the virus was not expected to affect the competition, she said.