Well, well, well. Americans can rejoice — a cheese from the United States has come out on top at this year’s World Cheese Awards, while the French appear to be very sore losers. Not very mature, are they?
Outrage is currently gripping France with one French newspaper, Ouest-France, calling the news of the cheese awards “sacrilege.” Only one of the top 15 cheeses was French, and that must be grating.
To add insult to injury a British cheddar came in a sharp second.
It’s the first time an American cheese has ever placed #1 in the competition. An Oregon-produced cheese, Rogue River Blue, took the top prize. It was named world’s best by a panel of 260 experts. The organic blue cheese beat a record-breaking 3,804 entries from 42 countries.
The list of 16 finalists included cheeses from Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Japan. This year, none of France’s signature cheeses — Camembert, Comté and Roquefort — were among the highest rated. C’est tres dommage.
Rogue Creamery, the makers of this stellar cheese, starts work on their product in the fall of each year, using organic cow’s milk from the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. The cheese wheels spend nine to 11 months aging in the creamery’s cheese caves, and then are hand-wrapped in organic Syrah grape leaves soaked in pear liqueur. The award-winning cheese can be purchased on their website or in Whole Foods stores nationwide.
From the land of Cheez Whiz and Velveeta, America has come a long way to be crowned champions of the cheese world. A proud day for all involved.