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Vermeer Gouda lauded as the world's best cheese

Also known as Cantenaar, Gouda 30+

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

MADISON/STEENDEREN - The recent World Champion Cheese Contest produced a shock winner in its annual search for the best cheese in the world. They crowned a low-fat Gouda named Vermeer, from dairy conglomerate Friesland Campina, as the 2012 champion, upstaging traditional winners such as Switzerland and France.

The Dutch international dairy giant Friesland Campina was totally taken by surprise with the outcome of the biennual contest which evaluates as many as 2,500 entries, in eighty categories, from 20 countries. The Dutch did not even send a representative to the competition. Steenderenís Frico plant manager Piet Nederhoed had his night rest interrupted to hear the news.

Cheese critics lavished praise on the Dutch entry, which is known as Cantenaar or Gouda 30+ in the Netherlands. One of the cheese graders said the winning Vermeer stood out for its "nice, smooth, clean flavour. It has nice body and mouth-feel. A very clean taste."

More awards

Vermeer was not the only Friesland Campina cheese to go home with a prize. Frico Edam Medium, the Milner Aged, the Milner Medium and the North Holland Spiced received awards. The cheeses are judged for their flavour, texture, body and colour by world experts.

The Netherlands is famous for its Gouda cheese, a position that will only be enhanced by winning the world's top spot. In 2004, the Rembrandt, also a Frico cheese, was declared the overall winner.

Of the finalists, seven were from the U.S., and five from Switzerland, including the two runners-up.