Arran based Island Cheese Company has been named among the winners at the 31st annual World Cheese Awards in Bergen, Norway, standing out from the crowd as a record breaking 3,472 entries were judged in a single day at the city’s iconic Grieg Hall on Friday 2 November.
The Island Cheese Company, part of the Taste of Arran group was awarded a coveted Best Scottish Cheese award for its Arran Blue - for the 2nd year in a row! This multi-award winning farmhouse cheese is made at Bellevue Creamery, Blackwaterfoot on the Isle of Arran using pasteurised cow’s milk from the island’s dairy herd and vegetarian rennet. Similar in style to the French ‘Bleu d’ Auvergne’, this is a young, mild and creamy cheese.
With entries from over 40 different countries judged at the World Cheese Awards, as the competition formed part of the brand new Norwegian food festival, Matnasjonen Norge, the Island Cheese Company has gained an internationally recognised seal of approval from a truly global cheese event.
Gordon Kinniburgh, owner of the Island Cheese Company and Bellevue Creamery explains:
‘Best cheese in Scotland two years in a row, we must be doing something right! This is testament to the hard work and passion shown by Calum our head cheese maker and his assistants; and the high quality of the local Arran milk. Bellevue cheesemaker Calum Chaplin, who also produces their Brie-style Arran Mist and Arran Camembert says ‘I have always respected the bountiful quality of our sweet Arran soil and all those whom have made it so. Just doing my bit!’
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 Carlos Yescas, author and cheesemonger from Mexico, all put forward their chosen cheeses live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year’s World Champion Cheese.