Latest cheese champion puts small Wis. town on map

The Clark County town of Colby is where Colby cheese was created in 1885. But now cheese lovers have another Wisconsin destination to visit — the nearby town of Thorp, the hometown of the nation’s top cheesemaker.

Marieke Penterman won the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay this week. Her Marieke Mature Gouda cheese took top honors out of a field of 1,700 cheese entrants.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says her family already had plans to build a 100-acre farm and creamery, with viewing windows where tourists could watch the 300 cows being milked. They hope to have the new facility up and running in early October.

Thorp has a population of 1,600, and is about 40 miles east of Eau Claire.