Posted: 18/10/2019

America’s Rogue River Blue crowned world’s best cheese


Rogue River Blue, an American cows’ milk blue wrapped in vine leaves, has been named the best cheese on the planet after the tightest possible finish at World Cheese Awards 2019-20.

Super Jury judge Cathy Strange with Rogue River Blue, after the American blue cheese was crowned World Champion at the 2019-20 World Cheese Awards

The cheese, made by Rogue Creamery in the state of Oregon, narrowly beat an aged Parmigiano Reggiano after the chairman judge, Nigel Barden, had to use his casting vote.

The organic blue and the Parmigiano (entered by ConsorzioConva – Nazionale del Parmigiano Reggiano) drew level on scores from the final judging panel, with Rogue River Blue the very last cheese to be assessed.

The champion emerged from a field of almost 4,000 cheeses as the awards took place in Italy for the first time, as part of the FORME festival in Bergamo, Lombardia.

These final results were the climax of a day-long judging process that started at host venue Fiera di Bergamo with 3,804 cheeses – delivered to Bergamo from 42 countries – for a team of 260 judges to assess.

A total of 3,804 cheeses were entered into WCA 2019-20

One Gold cheese from each of the 85 judging tables was nominated as a Super Gold before being sampled again by the Super Jury of 16 experts, representing 13 different nations – including the USA, UK, Italy, Australia, Sweden and Japan.

The judges, who hailed from some 35 different nations, split up into groups of three or four to tackle 85 tables of cheese. They tasted and scored every single entry to decide whether it would receive either a Gold, Silver, Bronze, or no award.

From the 85, just 16 cheeses progressed to a final round of judging held live in front of a live audience and broadcast globally on WCA TV.

World Cheese 2019-20 took place as part of FORME festival – a four day celebration of cheese staged in Bergamo’s old town and at the B2Cheese conference taking place at Fiera.

The full results of the day will be available soon at gff.co.uk/wca– where you can also view more footage from the day’s judging.

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