Spain takes its cheese production very seriously as you may have already worked out while visiting the local weekly market, traditional craft markets or small villages in the countryside or mountain areas. Mind you, even our hypermarkets all have a large area dedicated to cheese, where all the products are laid out in a lavish display.
Bearing this in mind, you may or may not be surprised to read that Spain has been awarded with three distinctions for three of its cheeses, as they have been voted in the top 20 best cheeses in the world at the World Cheese Awards – the equivalent to The Oscars but in cheese world.
This year, this prestigious competition was held in Bergen in Norway, and featured 3,472 cheeses from 41 different countries.
While the top spot went to ‘Fanaost Aged-Gouda’, a Norwegian cheese elaborated on a tiny farm with only 12 cows, Spanish cheeses occupy the 6th, 11th and 14th positions, with a further 12 Spanish cheeses being awarded the ‘Super Gold’ medal and featuring in the top 80 cheeses globally.
Here are the top 16 cheeses in the world as voted in 2018:
- Fanaost Aged-Gouda. Norway
- Agour Pur Brebis AOP Ossau Iraty. France
- Helfeit, Brun Geitost, Tinn tradisjon, Stordalen Gardsbruk. Norway
- Almnäs Tegel Almnäs Brukal. Sweeden
- Riserva del Fondatore. Caseificio Il Fiorino. Italy
- Formatge Madurat Formatges Mas El Garet. Spain
- Lihmskov Grand Fromage. Denmark
- Taupinette Jousseaume. France
- Baffalo Blu Caseificio Defendi Luigi Srl. Italy
- Caciocavallo Azienda Agricola E Zootecnica Posticchia Sabelli. Italy
- Majorero DOP – Maxorata semicurado con Pimentón. Grupo Ganaderos de Fuerteventura. Spain
- Kilembe Belnori. Boutique Cheesery. South Africa
- Golden Cross Golden Cross Cheese. United Kingdom
- La Reserva, Mezcla. Queserías Entrepinares. Spain
- Pecorino Gran Riserva del Passatore Romagna Terre. Italy
- Maayan Harod Shirat Roim. Israel
And under the ‘super gold’ category, and therefore amongst the 80 best cheeses in the world, are the following Spanish cheeses:
Miss Capra (Valdecabras), Musgo Lavado (Elvira García), Queso Portugués de Cabra (Quesos de Almazora), Queso de cabra curado leche cruda (Quesería Artesanal Las RRR), Bodega Oveja (Finca de Uga), Ybleu (Los Payuelos), Chisquero Semicurado (Agrícola La Merced), Marantona Curado (La Casota), Ibérico García Baquero (Lácteas García Baquero), Curado Subaida (Subaida), Queso de vaca, cabra y oveja curado con vino de Castilla-La Mancha (Don Apolonio) and Cremositos del Zújar (Arteserena).