The winning cheese at the championships in Madison, Wisconsin / AP


A Gouda worth its weight in gold has proved a deserving winner of the World Championship Cheese Contest after being sold at auction for $8,400 (£5,270).

The wheel of Vermeer, a low-fat orange cheese from Holland, was valued at $350 per pound by its buyer, an American dairy company named Hoogwegt US. The sale in Madison, Wisconsin, came after the cheese claimed a surprise victory in the competition last month, where it stopped the Swiss from claiming the prize for the fourth time in a row. The biennial world championship featured more than 2,500 cheeses from 24 countries.

Despite its pedigree, it was not the most expensive cheese at the auction : a set of three gold-medal cheeses by a US manufacturer fetched a total of $16,000.