The World Cheese Awards, recently held in Bergamo, Italy, have officially recognized the 16 best cheeses in the world. This popular annual event, which has been organized more over 30 years, attracts everyone from trade professionals and procurement managers to consumers and food commentators. It’s held as part of the larger FORME cheese festival. At this year’s event, a record number of cheeses competed: 3,804 in total, from 42 countries and 6 continents, with 260 judges making the final decision.
Of the 16 winners, 2 are from Spain. Coming in at 3rd place, with 92 points, is Torta del Casar PDO Virgen del Prado. This spectacular cheese is made by the family-run business Quesería Doña Francisca, based in Casar de Cáceres, in Extremadura. Torta del Casar is a natural cheese made from raw merino sheep’s milk, vegetable rennet and salt. It has a sour tang and a soft texture, and it softens as it ages.
In 16th place, Organic Inanna cheese, made by Parra Jiménez in Las Mesas in Cuenca, took home the distinction. This delicious organic cheese from La Mancha has a rind that is aged with red wine, giving it a unique color and aroma. The family behind this business has been committed to organic agriculture for more than two decades, and biodynamic agriculture more recently, and they’ve been making cheese with organic sheep’s milk since 2010.