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Cheesemakers toast Dutch master

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Robert Aschenbrock of Stratford, Wisconsin, shows off the winning low-fat gouda from the Netherlands (AP/Andy Manis)

Robert Aschenbrock of Stratford, Wisconsin, shows off the winning low-fat gouda from the Netherlands (AP/Andy Manis)

Robert Aschenbrock of Stratford, Wisconsin, shows off the winning low-fat gouda from the Netherlands (AP/Andy Manis)

A Dutch cheesemaker's Vermeer cheese has been named the world's best at an international cheese contest.

The cheese beat two Swiss cheeses, and marked the first time in four contests the Swiss did not take top honours.

The winning cheesemaking company was Friesland Campina in Wolvega, The Netherlands.

Dutch judge Peter Piersma said he was excited for his country and proud of his colleagues.

The first runner-up was Kaserei Grundbach, a company in Wattenwill, Switzerland, that entered a smear-ripened semi-soft winzer kase.

A fellow Swiss cheesemaker, SO Appenzeller Kase of Appenzell, was the second runner-up with its Appenzeller cheese.

Seven of the 16 finalists were from the US, including five from Wisconsin which staged the contest in Madison. Five were from Switzerland, two from The Netherlands and one each from Canada and Spain.

PA Media