Switzerland has claimed the title of World Champion Cheese 2022 with Le Gruyère AOP Surchoix by cheesemaker Vorderfultigen, leaving France to make do with third place after second place went to Gorgonzola Dolce DOP, made by De’ Magi from Italy.
Grosse Tomme de Bufflonne Cave Jacobine, by Prolactine France, took third place, and the company, which had three of its cheeses placed in the top ten, said on its Facebook page: “We are delighted to that all the cheeses we presented at WCA 2022 were awarded places.”
There were a record-breaking 4,434 entries in this year’s competition, the 34th edition of the world’s largest cheese-only event, which was held at the International Convention Centre Wales in Newport. The cheeses were scored on aspects such as the appearance of the rind and paste, as well as the cheese’s aroma, body, and texture, with the majority of points awarded for flavour and mouthfeel.
Le Gruyère AOP surchoix is a matured cheese made from raw cow’s milk which is full-bodied with a slightly crumbly texture. It was described as a “really perfect hand-crafted cheese, smooth in your mouth and melting on your tongue” by the Super Jury member Christian Zuercher from Mifroma. Dennis Kaser, international marketing manager of Le Gruyère AOP, said: “This is a result that shows the quality behind all these people working together; 1900 milk producers, 155 cheesemakers and 11 refiners. This collaborative work results in such a high quality cheese style, which is loved by the consumer.”
The 4,434 cheeses were sent to Wales by boat, truck, train, and plane via 19 consolidation points around the world, removing barriers to entry for many artisan cheese producers. Each were closely examined by the panel of judges, featuring cheesemakers, cheesemongers, buyers, chefs, retailers, and writers, to deem if they were worthy of a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Super Gold award. All entries were judged in a single day.