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The national cheese spotlight this week turns to Wisconsin – where else? – as judges get ready to sniff, taste and touch thousands of samples in the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.According to the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, categories that saw the greatest increase in entries include string cheese, which had 113 percent growth; soft ripened cheeses, with a 66 percent spike; and Edam and Gouda, up 52 percent.The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association event this week is the largest technical evaluation of cheese, butter and yogurt in the U.S. It started in 1981 .People bought nearly $18 billion in cheese from U.S. retailers in 2015, up nearly 3 percent from 2014 and 27 percent from 2012, according to the International Dairy Foods Association.
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