The international cheese competition known as the Mondial Fromage et des Produits Laitiers has crowned the ‘Best Cheese in the World’ for 2023.
The ‘Berthaut Epoisses ‘Perrière’ is this year’s recipient of the coveted title.
The Époisses cheese, which is from the Burgundy departement of Côte-d’Or and made from cow’s milk, is known for its soft texture and somewhat pungent odour. It finished runner-up at the last edition of the competition in 2021.
The sixth Mondial du Fromage et des Produits Laitiers was held in Tours (Indre-et-Loire, France) and the 12-member international jury, chaired by Rungis International Market President Stéphane Layani, had to choose between some 1,550 products from around the world made with at least 50% milk. The products were submitted by 200 exhibitors from 48 countries and were unlabelled to ensure total impartiality. The products were scrutinized for presentation, cut, texture, aroma and, of course, taste, by some 250 international professionals.
The competition takes place every two years and this year’s winners are as follows:
1. Epoisses AOP (French)
2. L’Etivas AOP (Swiss)
3. Couronne de Touraine (French)
4. Fromager d’Affinois le Fromager (French)
5. Camembert Lait Cru (French)
6. Le Petit Cru Bio (French)
7. Trèfle du Perche (French)
8. Caprinus du Lago (Brazilian)
9. Chabichoi du Poitou AOP (French)
10. Le Charolais AOP (French)
Eight out of 10 are French cheeses, which must be something of a relief for France, whose pride took something of a beating earlier this year.
Indeed, the February 2023 ranking of the ‘100 Best Rated Cheeses in the World’, compiled by the TasteAtlas food website, didn’t feature a single Gallic fromage in the Top 10.
According to that ranking, the first entries on the list for France were Reblochon and Comté, coming in at numbers 13 and 14 respectively. They ranked behind eight Italian cheeses, one Mexican, one Portuguese, one Polish and one Brazilian. Overall, only eight French cheeses made the top 50 list.
Quite the blow for a country which is home to over 1,000 different types of cheeses… They must have felt unfairly grated.
Still, this latest result must smooth things over. It’s gouda to have you back, France.