World Champion Cheese announced

World Champion Cheese announced

(L to R) Markel Olano Arrese presents the World Cheese Awards Champion of Champions trophy to Ingulf Galaaen, Norwegian cheesemaker from Røros, who accepted the award on Tingvollost’s behalf, with John Farrand, MD Guild of Fine Food.

Kraftkar blue cheese, made by Norwegian producer Tingvollost, has just scooped the coveted title of World Champion Cheese at the 29th annual World Cheese Awards, coming top among a record number of entries that were judged in San Sebastián, during the International Cheese Festival.

The winning Kraftkar beat off competition from over 3,000 entries into the world’s largest cheese-only awards scheme this year, with judge Nick Tsioros, owner of Olympic Cheese in Toronto, who championed this cheese, saying, “This 12-month aged blue cheese is wonderfully balanced, it has a great crumbly texture, but is soft and smooth on the tongue. The mould has developed nicely and comes across really well in the overall flavour of the cheese.”

Heralded as “the best cheese ever made”, Kraftkar blew the international panel of judges away, with Ossau Iraty from Fromagerie Agour in France coming second and Le Gruyère AOP Premier Cru from Cremo SA von Mühlenen in Switzerland placed third.

Gunnar Waagen from Tingvollost said, “This is marvellous news! We are a family-run farm and work long days to make our cheese. We get up early every day and go to bed very late to make the best cheese we can, and so to win this award, I am very proud.”

Drawing entries from 31 different countries, including Australia, Italy and Mexico, cheese of all shapes and sizes made their way by boat, plane, train, truck and car to the Kursaal Congress Centre in San Sebastián. More than 260 cheese experts from 26 different nations followed them to the Basque Country, to taste and grade the thousands of cheeses.


  • The World Cheese Awards is the planet’s biggest ‘cheese-only’ competition (no yoghurt, cream, butter or other dairy).
  • The International Cheese Festival took place in San Sebastián from 16-18 November 2016.
  • Kraftkar from Tingvollost in Norway scooped the top award, Ossau Iraty from Fromagerie Agour in France came second and Le Gruyère AOP Premier Cru from Cremo SA von Mühlenen in Switzerland was placed third.



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