Cornish Kern, an alpine-style cheese made by the UK’s Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, has been crowned World Champion Cheese at the 30th annual World Cheese Awards, after just a few years in development. This buttery medium-hard cheese, with a deep aroma and caramel notes, rose to the top among 3,000 entries that were judged in a single day at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17 November. The 30th anniversary edition of the awards formed part of this year’s Taste of London Festive Edition and saw entries from a record breaking 35 different countries.
The winning Cornish Kern now takes its place in the history books alongside previous champions of the largest cheese-only awards scheme on the planet, having impressed the World Cheese Awards’ international panel of experts at every stage of the judging process. Cathy Strange, global executive coordinator for Whole Foods Market in the USA, championed the cheese during the final round of judging, describing the cheese as: “Visually stunning, with its standout dark rind and the quality of milk is really evident in this cheese. It has an amazing age and a complexity, which keeps on coming. This is a super cheese and I would be glad to have it on any table.”
The rest of the International Super Jury, representing nations including Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Norway and South Africa, concurred, awarding Cornish Kern the highest score of the final judging stage.
Sarah Barnes, technical manager at Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, who collected the award in London, explains;
“I’m on top of the cheese world! Throughout the course of the day our Kern went through so many layers of judging, going from 3,001 to 66, to the top 16 and then World Champion and the judges said some wonderful things about our cheese. Cornish Kern is a new concept so to see it come to this is so exciting for the company, and a great start for this cheese’s career.”
Cornish Kern was awarded 75 points out of a possible 80 by the Super Jury of 16 judges, just ahead of an Italian Blu Di Bufala made by Quattro Portoni Caseificio in second place with 69 points. In joint third, were an Austrian Capellaro from Almenland Stollenkaese and a South African Dalewood Huguenot made by Dalewood Fromage, both scoring 67 points.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, commented:
“The competition was immense this year, with more nations represented than ever before, so bravo to Lynher Dairies for taking the top gong on this truly international stage. Cornish Kern is a perfect example of cheesemaking at its finest, so it’s wonderful to see this small team receive such recognition for their craft and a heartfelt pat on the back from the global cheese community. Taste of London Festive Edition has provided a wonderful backdrop for us this year, with some of the finest food and drink around under the same roof as the world’s best cheese, and it has given us great pleasure to return to London to celebrate three decades at the heart of the cheese world, before the World Cheese Awards sets sail again for pastures new in 2018.”
Entries made their way by road, rail, air and sea, via 12 consolidation points located in every corner of the globe, which channelled cheeses into London from nations including Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Columbia and South Africa. The 230-strong judging panel brought together more nations than ever before, representing six continents and 29 different countries, from South Africa and Japan to Mexico and the USA, to taste, nose and grade all 3,001 cheeses in a single day, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to winning cheeses.
With the top 16 cheeses selected, the audience then gathered at Taste of London Festive Edition to watch the International Super Jury debate the world’s best cheeses. Made up of top names from the global curd community, featuring cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers, including Roland Barthélemy, President of Guilde des Fromagers in France, Norwegian cheesemonger Siri Helen Hansen-Barry, Claudia Bowman from McIntosh & Bowman Cheesemonger in Australia and Mary Quicke from Quicke's in the UK, the final panel made their cases for their chosen cheeses live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year’s World Champion Cheese.
Look out for further announcements of this year’s special trophy award winners later this week.
Taste of London Festive Edition took place at Tobacco Dock in London from 16-19 November. For more information, visit www.london.tastefestivals.com.