Turophiles, you’ll want to get a slice of this. The World Champion Cheese was anointed at the World Cheese Awards last weekend (27–28 October). Taking place at the Trondheim Spektrum, Norway, the ceremony also saw the Best British Cheese awarded. Here we brie-f you on the latest.
World Cheese Awards 2023: The Winners
More than 4,500 cheeses (and their makers) gathered at the World Cheese Awards last weekend, the world’s largest cheese-only event of its kind, organised by the Guild of Fine Food. Each cheese was tasted and assessed by a panel of 264 expert judges to separate the gouda from the bad. The judges hail from 38 nations – spanning cheesemongers, journalists, retail buyers, chefs, cheese production and maturation specialists – and considered everything from appearance to aroma, body, texture and, most importantly, flavour and mouth feel. So who came out tops?
A whopping 43 countries were represented, but British cheese really held its own, scooping up Super Gold awards for:
- Cornish Kern from Lynher Dairies Cheese Company
- Devon Blue from Ticklemore Cheese
- Wigmore from Village Maid Cheese
- Allerdale from Thornby Moor Dairy.
In total, the UK was awarded five Super Gold, 19 Gold, 34 Silver and 39 Bronze awards. But which is the UK’s very best cheese?
Best British Cheese
Sinodun Hill by Norton and Yarrow Cheese was named the Best British Cheese. A soft, mould-ripened pasteurised goats’ milk cheese with a Geotrichum rind, Sinodun Hill is made with vegetarian rennet and matured for one to three weeks. The British trophy sponsor was Hâute Fromagerie.
Sinodun Hill was likewise awarded a Super Gold award, making it to the final 16 top cheeses, from which a winner was selected.
Best Cheese In The World
Nidelven Blå – a handmade, blue mould Norweigian cheese made with pasteurised cows’ milk – bagged the title of best cheese in the world, entered by Norwegian cheesemaker Gangstad Gårdsysteri. The business’s general manager Maren Gangstadt only took over the family business earlier this year when her mother in law retired.
‘This means so much to us,’ Maren said. ‘We’re a small dairy farm based just two hours from here [Trondheim Spektrum], so this happening on our home turf means a lot, and having all of the crew from the dairy here adds an extra spark to it.’
‘This cheese was made in January so it’s about 11 months old now and it’s our best seller,’ she added. ‘It got a Super Gold in the 2019 World Cheese Awards as best Norwegian cheese, reflecting the work that’s gone into maintaining the quality and consistency.’
The Final 16
The thorough blind judging process saw 4,502 entries whittled down to 100 ‘Super Gold’ cheeses, then reduced again to the final 16, put forward and rejudged by the International Super Jury for the World Cheese Award. Nidelven Blå may have bagged the top prize, but all 16 of these cheeses are world-class.
- Sinodun Hill from Norton and Yarrow Cheese, UNITED KINGDOM. Soft, pasteurised goats’ milk cheese matured for 1 to 3 weeks. (Championed by Kelsie Parsons, Canada)
- Old Amsterdam Goat from Westland Kaasexport, NETHERLANDS. Semi-hard, pasteurised goats’ milk cheese matured for 6 to 9 months. (Championed by Peter Mårtensson, Sweden)
- Goustal La Bergere from Société des Caves, FRANCE. Soft, pasteurised sheeps’ milk cheese matured for 6 weeks to 3 months. (Championed by Catherine Fogel, Denmark)
- Wigmore from Village Maid Cheese, UNITED KINGDOM. Soft, thermised sheeps’ milk cheese matured for 5-9 weeks. (Championed by Svein Erik Backlund, Norway)
- Parmigiano Reggiano 30-39 Months from Nazionale Parmigiano Reggiano Rastelli Fratelli, ITALY. Unpasteurised cows’ milk cheese matured for 30 to 39 months. (Championed by Davide Fiori Guffanti, Italy)
- Holland Delta, 1 Year Old from Van der Heiden Kaas, NETHERLANDS. Pasteurised cows’ milk cheese matured for 1 year, with a sweet flavour derived from a secret rennet. (Championed by Mansi Jasani, India)
- Eleftheria Brunost from Vivanda Gourmet, INDIA. Pasteurised cows’ milk cheese matured for 0 to 2 weeks. Handmade by cooking indigenous pasteurised cows’ milk whey & cream in a traditional vessel resembling a wok. (Championed by Cathy Strange, USA)
- Eberle Würzig Seit 5 Generationen from Dorfkäserei Muolen, SWITZERLAND. Hard, unpasteurised cows’ milk cheese matured for 8 months. (Championed by Débora Pereira, France)
- Deichkäse Gold from Rohmilchkäserei Backensholz, GERMANY. Hard, unpasteurised organic cows’ milk cheese matured for 12 to 18 months. (Championed by Georgina Yescas, Mexico)
- Kärntnermilch Mölltaler Almkäse Selektion 50% FiT. from Kärntnermilch, AUSTRIA. Hard, pasteurised cows’ milk cheese matured for 12 months. (Championed by Aki Sakagami, Japan)
- Lamucca Di Castagno from Romagna Terre, ITALY. Pasteurised cows’ milk cheese aged with chestnut leaf powder for 3 to 6 months. (Championed by Patrick McGuigan, UK)
- Baliehof Houtlandse Asche Kaas from Baliehof Kaas En Zuivelboerderij Jabbeke, BELGIUM. Hard, unpasteurised cows’ milk cheese matured for 3 months. (Championed by Suzy O’Regan, South Africa)
- Müller-Thurgau Rezent from Käserei Müller-Thurgau, SWITZERLAND. Hard, washed-rind, pasteurised cows’ milk cheese matured for 11 months. (Championed by Jon Thrupp)
- Nidelven Blå from Gangstad Gårdsysteri, NORWAY. Pasteurised cows’ milk blue cheese matured for 11 months. (Championed by Finbar Deery, Ireland)
- Pirano from La Bufalara, ITALY. Semi-hard, pasteurised buffalo milk cheese matured for 3 to 6 months. (Championed by Evert Schonhage, Netherlands)
- Michel from Rohmilchkäserei Backensholz, GERMANY. Unpasteurised cow’s and goats’ milk cheese matured for 14 to 16 months.