World Cheese Awards 2021
A competition dedicated to dairy products, organised by the UK-based Guild of Fine Food, that this year took place in Oviedo as part of the Asturias Paraíso Natural International Cheese Festival 2021. A record-breaking edition, after a year on hiatus due to the pandemic, with more than 4,000 entries from 45 countries, judged by an international panel of 230 experts, including journalists and industry insiders. The winning cheese, called Olavidia, is made with indigenous lactic bacteria of milk, where a spontaneous loss of part of the whey occurs with a slow pasteurisation; a product made according to tradition that stood out for its technique, aroma and craftsmanship.
The winner of World Cheese Awards 2021
The judges gave a score to all competing cheeses based on to the visual aspect, structure, consistency, smell and taste, awarding bronze, silver, gold and Super Gold medals – the best among the golds on each tasting table. In all sixteen Super Gold cheeses, including the winner: Olavidia from Quesos y Besos, which for four generations has been producing goat cheese in Guarromán, on the road from Toledo to Córdoba. "We are originally from Málaga and today our goats graze in the southern highlands of Jaén, a wonderful rural area very close to the concept of paradise, for livestock and for humans. The secret of our victory is our territory" say the winners.
Nazionale del Parmigiano Reggiano
Italy was also there, represented by Nazionale del Parmigiano Reggiano, a team made up of 96 dairies representing the PDO, that nonetheless amazed the judges and made waves. Also on display during the event was a 21-year-old wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano, one of the world's most aged cheeses, auctioned for charity on Givergy until 6 November 2021. A rare specialty not only because of its particular maturation, but also because of its 'Mountain Product' certification, one of the most valuable types of Parmigiano. The winner of the auction will contribute to the projects 'Aiutiamo il mondo' by Father Marco Canovi and Mama Sofia, an association founded by Zakaria Seddiki, wife of the late ambassador to Congo Luca Attanasio. Representing Italy on the jury was journalist and gastronome Alberto Marcomini from RAI.
by Michela Becchi