Kilembe wins Best South African Cheese at World Cheese Awards 2018
Kilembe from Belnori Boutique Cheesery has been named the Best South African Cheese, sponsored by Agri Expo, at the 31st edition of the World Cheese Awards in Bergen, Norway following a record breaking 3,472 entries being judged in a single day at the city’s iconic Grieg Hall.
This hard goat’s milk cheese achieved a Super Gold rating at this year’s competition, which also saw awards going to all four of Belnori Boutique Cheesery’s other entries. This included another Super Gold for Kalabash, a Silver for Balmoral, a Bronze for Tanglewood and a Bronze for Forest Phantom, a delicate soft mould ripened cheese with vegetable ash that endured the 15,672 kilometre trip to achieve its award.
Visiting Norway for the first time this year to form part of the brand new food festival, Matnasjonen Norge, the World Cheese Awards judged entries from over 40 different countries on Friday 2 November. Nine hours of judging later, the Super Jury named Fanaost, made by Norwegian cheesemaker, Ostegården, World Champion Cheese 2018, after the aged gouda stood out at every stage of the blind tasting process.
With a total of two Super Gold, four Gold, six Silver and nine Bronze awards going to entries from South Africa this year, the World Cheese Awards has once again provided an internationally recognised seal of approval for many of the nation’s top cheesemakers. Among the other winners taking awards back South Africa are a Gold winning Woolworths Brie de Roche from Fairview Cheese Company, a Gold winning Marscarpone from Lancewood Cheese Holdings and a Silver winning Klein River Overberg from Klein River Cheese.
Records were broken across the board this year, as more nations than ever before entered cheeses into the world’s biggest cheese-only event. Representing 41 different countries, entries made their way by boat, truck, train and plane via 12 consolidation points around the world, from places including Brazil, Kenya, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa and the USA. 235 judges from 30 countries then tasted, nosed and graded cheeses from six continents, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to worthy entries.
As 3,472 eventually became 16, the crowds then watched on as the International Super Jury debated the world’s top cheese. Made up of the finest palates from the international cheese community, this year’s panel featured cheese makers, cheesemongers, buyers, chefs, retailers and writers. Judges including José Pizarro, critically acclaimed Spanish chef, Cathy Strange, global executive coordinator for Whole Foods Market in the USA, Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma in Denmark, and South African dairy industry consultant, Kobus Mulder, all put forward their chosen cheeses live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year’s World Champion Cheese.
- The World Cheese Awards is organised by the Guild of Fine Food
- 2018 was the 31st edition of the competition Top of Form
- The planet’s biggest ‘cheese-only’ competition – no yoghurt, cream, butter or other dairy – championing the world’s best cheesemakers, from tiny artisans to global heavyweights
- 3,472 cheeses from 41 different countries entered – including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA and Wales
- 235 judges from across the globe travelled from 30 different countries to nose, taste and grade the cheese
- Judging broadcast live on World Cheese TV at gff.co.uk/wca
- A Super Jury of 16 judges decided the final winning World Champion Cheese