Two Maine companies were honored Tuesday night at the World Dairy Expo, a North American dairy and ice cream competition held each year in Madison, Wisconsin.

Oakhurst Dairy’s Fresh Heavy Cream took first place in the Championship Dairy Product contest, beating 32 other entries from across the country. And Gifford’s Ice Cream won first place awards for its Old Fashioned Vanilla and Vanilla Bean flavors in their categories.

Gifford’s Old Fashioned Vanilla is sold in grocery stores, while the Vanilla Bean is a wholesale flavor sold to restaurants, colleges and universities. The ice creams are slow-churned in 1940s-era Cherry Burrell ice cream freezers and then hardened in high winds and sub-zero temperatures in a hardening tunnel.

The World Dairy Expo is sponsored annually the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association. The contest features 69 categories for cheese and Grade A dairy product classes. This year’s competition attracted more than 1,000 entries that were evaluated by more than 40 judges.

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