Sirana Gligora Readies for the World Championship Cheese Contest

Paški sir slice

Image via Wikipedia

The 29th biannual World Championship Cheese Contest will take place on 5th to 7th of March in Wisconsin USA and this year they’ll be an extra special batch of cheese taking part.  Sirana Gligora will be sending 7 different cheeses to become among the first Croatian producers to enter this prestigious event.

Šef Mr Ivan Gligora with the selection

We’re hoping to woo the judges and organizers alike as was the case in our first appearance at the World Cheese Awards in the UK back in 2010, when we won a unprecedented 3 Super Gold Medals and the Best New Cheese Trophy for our Paški Sir. The World Championship Cheese Contest is the largest, most objective expert evaluation of cheese and butter in the world. Entries are evaluated by a team of proficient judges selected from nations around the globe. Twenty-four karate gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the finest products in 82 classes. A Championship Round evaluates the gold medal cheeses from each class to declare a World Champion Cheese, and First and Second Runners Up for the contest.

Hosted by the non-profit Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association with assistance from hundreds of industry volunteers. Since its inception in 1957, the World Championship Cheese Contest has grown rapidly and is now the largest technical evaluation of cheese and butter in the world. The most recent Contest in 2010 drew a record-breaking 2,318 entries from 20 nations.

I’ve been speaking to Mr Bill Wendorf who is a professor emeritus in the UW-Madison food science department and recent recipient of a Distinguished Service Award in 2011.  Bill has had a special interest in our Paški Sir since his trip to Croatia 2 years ago on a voyage to discover his wife roots whom has Croatian heritage.  Since then Bill has developed some short courses on Eastern Mediterranean Cheeses with the help of Dr Samir Kalit  from Zagreb University, who incidentally was our current managing directors tutor in his university days. Bill has high hopes for our Paški Sir saying “It will be good to see the increased competition in the hard sheep cheese class this year with Paski Sir. Our domestic (USA) cheesemakers are still getting a feel for dealing with sheep milk so they have a little ways to go to be competitive.

Kristin Vuković, the NY based freelance writer will be covering the event and you can follow her updates on her PS From Pag page. We’ll keep you posted on developments too but for now it’s ‘Sretan Put’ to our entries, the next time we see them perhaps they will be adorned in gold!

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