UW program helps local cheesemaker make Best of Show cheese

UW program helps local cheesemaker make Best of Show cheese
Master cheesemaker Chris Roelli holds a fifteen-pound wheel of Little Mountain cheese aging in a storage facility at Roelli Cheese Haus in Shullsburg, Wis., on Dec. 27, 2016. Roelli Cheese created the award-winning product with the consulting and test-batch help of the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

Thanks to some help from the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a small local cheesemaker was able to create and produce a nationally recognized Best of Show cheese.

Little Mountain, which is described by its maker as a “classic upland style from Switzerland,” is not contraband, but Roelli Cheese Huas near Shullsburg is practically running on empty after a Best of Show at the American Cheese Society contest in July, according to a release.

Little Mountain bested 1,842 other cheeses in the competition.

UW program helps local cheesemaker make Best of Show cheeseWith help from the CDR, Roelli created the recipe for Little Mountain and honed the details of microbiology, timing and equipment, according to the release.

“For us as a small business, tapping the experience at CDR was invaluable,” Roelli said in the release. “It accelerated our path to bring this cheese to the market, literally by years.”

The CDR is the world’s mecca for dairy product research, according to the release. It is operated at UW-Madison with funds from dairy farmers and food processors, and its experts boast hundreds of years of combined experience in industry and academia.

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