Congratulations to Kaserei Champignon who have emerged victorious at the World Cheese Awards. In an amazing feat their entry, Montagnolo Affiné, a creamy blue cheese, not only scooped first place but second as well. It had been entered into two different classes and when judges re-judged, tasted and voted the final 15 Super Golds, the cheese came both first and second. Now Germany isn’t usually classed as being in the premier league of cheese making; so this award is very significant.
John Farrand, MD of the Guild of Fine Food, organiser of the competition, said: “After 25 years of the World Cheese Awards this is the first time that a cheese made in Germany has won the top honour. Our judges were united in their praise for the Montagnolo Affiné with one judge describing the cheese as ‘visually beautiful with a soft blue grey bloom and melt in the mouth, velvety flavour’. This is a very worthy winner from an accomplished cheesemaker.”
David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery in the USA, one of the final judges, described the Montagnolo Affiné as “a brilliant blue”. “You get a sweet, creamy flavour, a medium spiciness from the blueing, and the rind melts beautifully into the paste.” Louis Aird of Canada’s Saputo Dairy Products said it was a blue for people who don’t think they like blue cheeses. “We are blue cheese producers ourselves, and I would love to be able to make a blue like this. As soon as I put it in my mouth I thought, ‘Wow, this is a champion’.’’The cheese beat two English Stiltons that also made it into the final 15. To reinforce just how tough the competition is, third place this year went to a Le Gruyère AOP Premier Cru from Cremo Von Muhlenen, which was just one point behind Montagnolo Affiné in the final voting. Now Le Gruyère AOP is the only cheese to have topped the World Cheese Awards on three occasions. So the winner must be some cheese and I look forward to trying some