A Canadian goat’s milk cheese, Le Cendrillon, saw off nearly 2,500 other competitors to take the title of World Champion Cheese 2009 yesterday – the second year in a row that a goats’ milk cheese has taken the top spot.
The annual competition, run by the UK’s Guild of Fine Food, was staged this year in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. It was only the second time the awards have been held outside Britain in their 21-year history.
Over 150 judges from 24 countries, including Mexico, South Africa and Australia, sampled 2,440 entries in a marathon tasting session before choosing the winner
Around 140 cheeses from around the world were also given gold awards.
Guild of Fine Food national director Bob Farrand said: “This was the most international team of judges ever assembled, with representatives from four continents involved in choosing the World Champion. It’s the largest and most cosmopolitan cheese awards scheme on the planet.”
Le Cendrillon is made by La Maison Alexis de Portneuf in Québec, Canada and was entered by Saputo. The ash-covered cheese has a marble-textured rind, a smooth, ivory-coloured body and a fairly strong, acidic taste that is said to become more pronounced as the cheese matures.
Winner of the Felix Garcia Trophy for Best Canary Islands Cheese was Finca de Uga, whose Bodega Oveja hard cheese is produced on a farm on the volcanic island of Lanzarote. Last year’s World Champion Cheese was from a Canary Island co-operative.
This year’s awards formed part of a wider global event organised by the Guild of Fine Food, including an international cheese conference and the World Cheese Festival, an exhibition of cheese and other speciality foods for trade and consumers. Per capita cheese consumption in the Canaries is among the highest in Europe and upwards of 10,000 visitors are expected to attend.