A Welsh welcome

The highlight of my week was a turn cheese judging at the World Cheese Awards in Wales. Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, about the size of New Jersey and attached to the left-hand side as you at it on a map. They are justifiably proud of their language, their singing prowess and their ability to handle a rugby ball. Probably their most famous cheese is Caerphilly, but there are dozens of others too. (https://www.welshcheesecompany.co.uk/products/cheeses/)

It being the World Cheese Awards, the selection was vast, with over 4,400 cheeses from 900 producers globally. The Guild of Fine Food offers a logistics class worth noting, as it collects cheeses from 19 points throughout the world, and then consolidates them on tables in a hall in Newport, or another country in Europe, every year.

For example, last year all the cheeses went to Oviedo, Spain. Next year, it’s Trondheim, Norway. To get all those cheeses from their respective homelands to the judging location is a marvel of moving things around, in my humble opinion. The fact that they’re largely still in great shape is another wonder.

I won’t even mention the many judges from many countries, who converge on the locale to taste and judge the cheeses. Again, logistics. These folks should be in the military, they’re that good at moving things. And you’d want them working on whatever side you’re on.

Sadly, the Ukrainians were not able to host this year due to their war, but Oksana Chernova made an appearance via video link and there was a selection of Ukrainian cheeses to try at the lunch that was put on for the judges after the morning’s tastings. See the November issue of Dairy Industries International for her latest update on the Ukrainian situation for cheese makers. The awards once again prove that we are more alike than different, when it comes to dairy.

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