Winners Aren't Born, They're Molded

The words American cheese almost automatically conjure a vision of slices of something preternaturally orange and individually wrapped in plastic. Traditionally, the U.S. has had little to offer turophiles besides Cheddar and Cheez Whiz. But as American tastes are becoming more worldly, U.S. cheesemakers are increasingly producing Bries, mozzarellas and blues that can hold their own on fromage platters all over the planet. Competing against entries from 19 other nations at the recent 2002 World Championship Cheese Contest, American-made cow's-milk cheeses won 49 awards, nearly one-third more prizes than in 2000. Ten years ago, there were only a handful of American...

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