Vermont-based Jasper Hill Farm’s Harbison cheese has been named the Best American Cheese at the 31st edition of the World Cheese Awards in Bergen, Norway, following a record-breaking 3,472 entries being judged in a single day at the city’s Grieg Hall.
Visiting Norway for the first time this year to form part of the brand new food festival, Matnasjonen Norge, the World Cheese Awards judged entries from more than 40 different countries. Entries from the U.S. took home a total of eight Super Gold, 25 Gold, 24 Silver and 32 Bronze awards this year. Among the other U.S. winners are Montchevre Kiss My Ash from Saputo Cheese USA in Milwaukee, Midnight Moon from Cypress Grove in Arcata and Muuna Classic Plain cottage cheese from Muuna in New York.
Records were broken across the board this year, as more nations than ever before entered cheeses into the world’s biggest cheese-only event, say event organizers. 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 and South Africa.
More than 200 judges from 30 countries tasted, nosed and graded cheeses from six continents. Made up of experts 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; 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.