An American cheese has been named as the world's best cheese at the annual World Cheese Awards hosted by Forme, the Bergamo dairy art event held in Italy.
Rogue River Blue, an organic cow's milk cheese made by the small artisan cheesemaker Rogue Creamery in Southern Oregon, beat over 3800 cheeses from 42 countries around the world to claim the title of World Champion Cheese.
The win also makes history marking the first time in the competition's 32 year history that an American made cheese has received the top honour.
Rogue River Blue is a seasonal cheese made during the fall, following which each wheel of cheese is cave-aged for 9 to 11 months and hand-wrapped in organic Syrah grape leaves soaked in pear liqueur.
The producer describes the 2019 vintage as exhibiting "pear, spice, blackberry, vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate, and bacon flavors" while International Super Jury Brazilian judge, Bruno Cabral, described Rogue River Blue as a “taste party”, applauding its “different sensations, balance, sweet and spicy notes.
The unique blue cheese narrowly snagged the top spot in close competition with the Italian 24-month aged Nazionale del Parmigiano Reggiano from Latteria Sociale Santo Stefano which eventually came a very close second. In third place was a raw ewe’s milk cheese from Spain, Torta del Casar D.O.P. Virgen Del Prado made by Queseria Doña Francisca S.L.
The top 16 places saw four UK cheeses, 3 Italian, 3 Swiss and a cheese from Japan, The Netherlands and France. (see the full list below)
Image credit: Tim Johnston
Here are the top 16 Cheeses in order at this year's awards:
Organic Blue Cheese Rogue River Blue
Nazionale del Parmigiano Reggiano Latteria Sociale Santo Stefano
Consorzio Conva - Nazionale del Parmigiano Reggiano
Torta del Casar DOP Virgen del Prado
Queseria Doña Francisca
Gruyère AOP Premier Cru
Cremo - von Mühlenen
Walo von Mühlenen
Le Gruyère AOP
Emmi Schweiz ch.
Laiteries H. Triballat
Mori No Cheese
Hand Made Cheese Nasu No Mori
Inglewhite Buffalo Cheese
High Weald Dairy
Frico Goat Cheese
“Gubet” Casale Roccolo
Casale Roccolo Azienda Agricola Biologica