On November 2, the 34th edition of World Cheese Awards took place in Wales
Let’s just agree that cheese is one of the most loved foods across the world. Be it a nutcracker, pizza, sandwich, or pasta, you can enjoy cheese with many delicacies. Cheese just makes everything better. But have you ever imagined a competition, where thousands of cheese varieties compete against each other to grab the top spot? Sounds tough, doesn’t it? But in a unique contest, over 4,400 (yes, there are so many!) cheese varieties from across the world competed for the title of ‘world's best cheese’ at the World Cheese Awards, which took place in the UK recently.
On November 2, the 34th edition of World Cheese Awards took place in Wales. The event saw about 4,434 entries from 42 countries. Can you guess which cheese won the competition? According to a report by CNN, Le Gruyere AOP Surchoix bagged the title of the ‘World Champion Cheese’. Chosen by a panel of 250 top international judges, the winner was picked after shortlisting 98 ‘super gold’ champions, which was further narrowed down to 16 finalists.
The judges reportedly described the Le Gruyere AOP Surchoix as a "really refined, hand-crafted cheese" that melts on the tongue and has notes of herbs, fruits, and leather. "A cheese with a lot of taste and bouquet", they further said. The cheese is known to be slightly crumbly and is made from cow's milk. Le Gruyere AOP Surchoix was entered into the competition by Swiss cheese maker Vorderfultigen and affineur (refiner) Gourmino. For the unversed, Gruyere is a hard Swiss cheese that originated in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Jura, and Berne in Switzerland. It is named after the town of Gruyères in Fribourg.
However, it isn’t just the first winner that is making news, the second place was claimed by the Gorgonzola Dolce DOP, made by De' Magi in Italy, and the third place was taken by Alde Fryske, which is made by Dutch cheese makers De Fryske. The16 Super Gold winners were officially declared the world's best cheeses for 2022, including four of the UK cheese varieties, three from France, three from Italy, and one each from the US, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and Belgium.
The goal of the award was to motivate cheese makers. "One such victory can push a tiny artisan cheese maker into the big time”, John Farrand - the Managing Director of Guild of Fine Food - told CNN. They are also the organisers of this edition of the annual awards, in partnership with the Welsh government.