It might seem impossible to name the greatest cheese in the world. But, believe it or not, there’s something called the World Cheese Awards, which does just that. Initiated in 1988, the annual global event brings together cheesemakers, retailers, buyers, and food commentators worldwide to judge over 4,000 cheeses—4,434 to be exact—from over 40 countries. Supported by the Welsh Government, the event took place in Wales on November 2, 2022.
A total of 250 international judges made up of cheesemakers, chefs, writers, and more participated and crowned a new winner. After tasting thousands of entrants, Le Gruyère AOP Surchoix from Switzerland took home the top prize.
The judges scored thousands of cheeses based on five main factors: appearance, aroma, body, texture, and mouthfeel. Entered by Swiss cheesemaker Vorderfultigen and affineur (refiner) Gourmino, the cheese was described by the judges as a "really refined, hand-crafted cheese", noting it melts in your mouth with just the right notes of herbs, fruits, and leather.
Originating in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Jura, and Bern in Switzerland, Gruyère is classified as a Swiss-type or alpine cheese. It boasts a sweet flavor but is slightly salty, with a taste that varies widely with age. When young, it is often described as creamy and nutty, becoming more assertive, earthy, and complex as it matures.
Gorgonzola Dolce DOP made by De’ Magi in Italy came in second, while Âlde Fryske, made by Dutch cheesemakers De Frysk, took the third place.
1. Le Gruyère AOP surchoix by Vorderfultigen, Switzerland
2. Gorgonzola Dolce DOP by De’ Magi, Italy
3. Âlde Fryske by De Fryske, Netherlands
4. Grosse Tomme de Bufflonne by Prolactine, France
5. Tomme de chèvre by Prolactine, France
6. Pata de Mulo Curado by Quesería Artesanal Los Payuelos, Spain
7. Greensward by Murray’s Cheese, USA
8. Devon Blue by Ticklemore Cheese, UK
9. Grosse Tomme de chèvre by Prolactine, France
10. Spenwood by Village Maid Cheese, UK
For more information on World Cheese Awards, visit gff.co.uk.