Last week our Head of Retail, Hero Hirsh and our Cheese Buyer, Dan Bliss headed to Oviedo, Spain for the annual World Cheese Awards 2021. Organised by The Guild of Fine Food, The World Cheese Awards is the most recognised, international cheese competition in the industry and brings together professionals dedicated to cheese.
The World Cheese Awards 2021 was the 33rd event hosted by The Guild of Fine Food and 4,000 cheeses from the five continents (a record of 45 countries) took part and were evaluated by 250 international judges, Hero and Dan being two of them.
Each cheese that was entered into the competition was judged by carefully, assembled teams of technical experts, buyers, retailers and food writers.
The judges worked in teams of three, to distinguish any cheeses worthy of a gold, silver, or bronze award. They took into consideration the body of the cheese, the rind, the colour, the texture, the consistency and most importantly, the taste! Each of the teams then had to nominate one exceptional cheese as the Super Gold from their table.
Whilst all cheeses can be awarded a bronze, silver or gold based on the points the judges award them, only the very top cheeses got into the final where not only was the supreme champion awarded, but also prizes for the top cheeses from each country or specific category.
This year, the overall winner of the World Cheese Awards was Olavidia - a Goat’s milk cheese with an unusual ash line made with olive stones running through the centre, produced by Quesos y Besosa, a dairy with only 6 members of staff in the Sierra Morena mountains in Andalucia. For such a small scale production, this delicious artisan cheese is in very high demand.
Here are just seven of the fantastic English artisan cheeses from our cheese counters that won at these 2021 awards; proving their well-deserved place as 'best in the world'! Taste one of the 2021 award-winners...