The fourth edition of FORME saw more than 50,000 visitors in total between the fair and the public event at Città Alta, Bergamo’s old city.
In today’s podcast, we first cover the World Cheese Awards, which this year was won for the first time by a cheese from the US.
From the World Cheese Awards, we have interviews with John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, which hosts the event, and then we spoke with some of the judges: Andrea Power, Jill Allen, Paul Heasman, Kobus Mulder, James Golding and Roger Trewhella.
And we also have an interview with the cheesemaker responsible for the top award winner, David Gremmels.
We also have our weekly look at the global dairy markets, this week with Charlie Hyland, from INTL FCStone.
World Cheese Awards
Rogue Creamery was named World Champion Cheese 2019, winning the top award from 3,804 entries from 42 different countries.
Made annually with organic cow’s milk from Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley, Rogue River Blue is cave-aged for nine to 11 months and hand-wrapped in organic Syrah grape leaves that have been soaked in pear liqueur.
Taking place in Italy for the first time in its 32-year history, the cheese competition run by the Guild of Fine Foods was hosted by Bergamo’s annual FORME cheese festival and a new dairy trade show, B2Cheese.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organizers of the World Cheese Awards, said, “This year’s top prize was almost too close to call and I would like to congratulate both Rogue Creamery and Nazionale del Parmigiano Reggiano Latteria Sociale Santo Stefano for going the distance and providing us with one of the most dramatic finales in World Cheese history.
“These two wonderfully different cheeses say so much about the quality and diversity of cheesemaking today; one bold and ground-breaking, the other steeped in tradition, but both hitting all the high notes with our judges. Rogue Creamery has been at the forefront of the US artisan cheese revolution for some years, so it seems very fitting for them to be the first American winners of our World Champion Cheese trophy.
“I’d like to thank our partners, FORME and the inaugural B2Cheese trade show, for helping us to stage one of the biggest cheese events the world has ever seen, as we continue our mission to shine a spotlight on artisan cheesemakers across the globe.”
All entries were judged in a single day, as 260 experts from 35 different countries assessed their appearance, texture, aroma and flavor, giving bronze, silver, gold and super gold awards to winners.
In a drive to reduce waste, the World Cheese Awards and FORME partnered with Banco Alimentare, an Italian organization that collected and redistributed over 90,000 tons of food to those in need during 2018 alone. Banco Alimentare collected cheese preserved during the competition, which will now be passed onto 125 charitable institutions within Bergamo.