Not so long ago, New Zealand was a cheese desert. If you didn’t like Edam, Colby or Tasty, your choices were limited, to say the least. Now things are very different; we have some delicious cheeses of truly world-class quality – such as Whitestone Farmhouse. The pressed white mould semi-soft cheese from Whitestone Cheese Co, Oamaru, has been named among the winners at the 32nd annual World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy, standing out from the crowd as a record-breaking 3,804 entries were judged in a single day at Fiera di Bergamo on Friday 18 October.
Whitestone Farmhouse cheese from Whitestone Cheese co. was awarded a coveted Bronze award. Farmhouse is Whitestone’s first and original cheese that launched the cheese company in 1987.
With entries representing 42 nations from six continents at the World Cheese Awards this year, Whitestone Cheese has gained an internationally recognised seal of approval from a truly global cheese event. Visiting Italy for the very first time, the competition formed part of Bergamo’s annual FORME festival, taking place alongside the brand new international dairy trade show, B2Cheese.
Simon Berry, Managing Director explains, “The decision to enter Farmhouse was an easy one, as this cheese stands on its own feet internationally. A pressed cheese with a white mould rind is rare, we knew it would shine in any category it entered. To achieve an international bronze is fantastic recognition for our original cheese that has gone unchanged since the late 80’s. Also, recognition of our founding team and their pioneering development back in 1987. We will enjoy celebrating this success with all team over the coming weeks.”
Records were broken across the board again this year, as more nations than ever before entered cheeses into the planet’s biggest cheese-only event. Entries made their way by boat, truck, train and plane via 13 consolidation points around the world, from countries including Brazil, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. 260 judges from 35 different countries then assessed the appearance, texture, aroma and flavour of the cheeses, giving Bronze, Silver, Gold and Super Gold awards to worthy entries.
As 3,804 eventually became 16, the crowds then watched on as the finest palates in the global cheese community debated the world’s top cheese. Featuring cheesemakers, cheesemongers, buyers, chefs, retailers and writers, the International Super Jury all put forward their chosen cheeses live on World Cheese TV, before crowning this year’s World Champion Cheese.