The world’s very best cheese has been named – and it's from the UK

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Amy Swales
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We still love all cheese though, just to be clear.

While many would instantly turn to France when asked to find a fabulous fromage, cheese from the UK has long been acknowledged as also holding its own on the global stage.

And now a cheese from Cornwall has beaten 34 countries to be named World Champion Cheese at the 2017 World Cheese Awards (yes they exist and no, we can’t get you a job there).

Medium-hard cheese Cornish Kern took the crown, awarded 75 points out of a possible 80 by the 230-strong international panel of judges and pipping 3,000 other cheeses to the post.

Described as “firm to the cut but slightly flaky in the middle, buttery with caramel notes and a deep savoury aroma”, the winning Alpine-style cheese is made by Lynher Dairies Cheese Company and develops its flavour over 16 months.

The English cheese saw off 3,000 other entries from around the world

It came ahead of an Italian Blu Di Bufala made by Quattro Portoni Caseificio (69 points), and third place was jointly awarded to an Austrian Capellaro from Almenland Stollenkaese and a South African Dalewood Huguenot made by Dalewood Fromage (67 points each).

This year’s competition took place at Tobacco Dock in London (2016 saw a Norwegian blue win in Spain’s San Sebástian) during the Taste of London Festive Edition, and the judging panel comprised cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers.

Judge Cathy Strange, global executive coordinator for Whole Foods Market in the USA, said the cheese was “visually stunning, with its standout dark rind” and praised it as having “an amazing age and a complexity, which keeps on coming. This is a super cheese and I would be glad to have it on any table.”

Sarah Barnes, technical manager at Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, said: “I’m on top of the cheese world! Throughout the course of the day our Kern went through so many layers of judging, going from 3,001 to 66, to the top 16 and then World Champion and the judges said some wonderful things about our cheese.

“Cornish Kern is a new concept so to see it come to this is so exciting for the company, and a great start for this cheese’s career.”

Personally, we would never attempt to name a favourite cheese or cheese-making country, so we’d just like to make it clear that cheese the world over is welcome on our board.

Images: Taste of London / Lynher Dairies Cheese Company

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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.