The Big Cheese
Roelli Cheese Co., based in Shullsburg, Wis., took top honors at the 2016 American
Cheese Society (ACS) Competition in Des Moines, Iowa, which was held in late July.
The company’s Little Mountain cheese was named Best of Show at the annual awards
ceremony, often called “The Oscars of Cheese.”
Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Chris Roelli accepted
the Best of Show award—the culmination of a decade-long
commitment to artisan cheese making. Created in partner-
ship with the Center for Dairy Research in Madison, Wis.,
Little Mountain is a washed rind alpine cheese made with
raw cow’s milk in the appenzeller style. It is aged six months
and has a smooth, nutty flavor.
A fourth-generation cheesemaker, Roelli reopened his
family’s cheese factory, which had closed in 1991, in 2006,
with a vision to go small and artisan. He redesigned the
factory making it 11 times smaller than the original, creating an operation for one cheesemaker to handcraft small
batches of cheese.
The 2016 ACS competition included 1,843 entries from
more than 250 companies. Wisconsin cheesemakers won
a total of 107 ribbons, more than any other state for the
twelfth consecutive year.
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