Britain's Top Cheeses Honoured at World Cheese Awards 2016
Cave-aged Goats' from Ashley Chase Estate has been revealed as the Best British Cheese, sponsored by the Academy of Cheese, at the 29th annual World Cheese Awards, following over 3,000 cheeses being judged in a single day at the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián.
Other major trophy winners from the UK include Extra Mature Cheddar from Arla Foods, Llandyrnog Creamery, which picked up Best Welsh Cheese sponsored by Abergavenny Creamery, and Strathearn from Strathearn Cheese Co., which landed Best Scottish Cheese sponsored by Clarks Speciality Foods. The Best Northern Irish Cheese award went to Banagher Bold from Tamnagh Foods, while Montgomery's Extra Mature Cheddar from JA & E Montgomery claimed the Best Extra Mature Cheddar trophy, sponsored by Rowcliffe, at the world's largest cheese-only awards scheme.
Taking centre stage on day one of the inaugural International Cheese Festival, the World Cheese Awards saw a record number of entries this year, with the final Super Jury naming Kraftkar, made by Norwegian producer Tingvollost, as the World Champion Cheese 2016.
With a total of eight Super Gold, 42 Gold, 65 Silver and 84 Bronze awards going to entries from across the UK this year, British cheese clearly left a lasting impression with the international panel of judges at this truly global cheese event.
Drawing entries from 31 different countries, from Australia to Italy and Mexico to Mozambique, cheese of all shapes and sizes made their way by bicycle, boat, plane, train, truck and car to the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián, via 12 consolidation points in all corners of the globe. 266 cheese experts from 26 different nations followed them to the Basque Country to taste, nose and grade over 3,000 cheeses in a single day, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to worthy entries.
The final judging panel, made up of top names from the world of cheese, featuring cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers, including Suzy O'Regan from Woolworths Foods in South Africa, Cathy Strange from Whole Foods in the USA, Roland Barthélemy, President of Guilde des Fromagers in France, and Mary Quicke from Quicke's in the UK, then debated the top 16 cheeses in front of a trade and consumer audience, broadcast live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year's World Champion Cheese.
Click on the following links to access details of this year's Top 16 Super Gold cheeses and the Top 66 Super Gold cheeses.
The International Cheese Festival took place at the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián from 16-18 November 2016. For more information, visit www.internationalcheesefestival.eus.
World Cheese Awards 2016 – the background
The World Cheese Awards is organised by the Guild of Fine Food
2016 is the 29th year of the competition
The planet's biggest 'cheese-only' competition - no yoghurt, cream, butter or other dairy
3,021 cheeses from 31 different countries entered – including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA and Wales
266 judges from around the world travelled from 26 different countries to 'nose' and taste the cheese
Judging broadcasted live on World Cheese TV
A Super Jury of 16 judges decided the final winning World Champion Cheese
How the judging works
Judges work in teams of four, identifying any cheeses worthy of a bronze, silver, gold - or no award. They are looking at the rind and the body of the cheese, its colour, texture, consistency and, above all, its taste.
Each of the 66 teams then nominates one exceptional cheese as the Super Gold from their table. These 66 cheeses are the best in the world and are judged a second time by the Super Jury of 16 internationally recognised experts, who will each select a cheese to champion in the final round of judging.
The Super Jury then debates the final 16 in front of a live consumer and trade audience, before choosing the World Champion Cheese live on World Cheese TV, with cheese lovers across the globe tuning in for the drama.