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'Cheesy Oscars' give three Spanish brands world top 15 ranks
THREE cheeses produced in Spain have been elected among the top 15 in the world out of nearly 3,500 others from more than 40 countries – and some of them are very affordable indeed.
The Madurat (pictured), created by Formatges Mas El Garet in Tona, Barcelona province came sixth in this year's World Cheese Awards – considered the Oscars of the cheese industry – which took place in Bergen, Norway.
It was beaten by the Norwegian brand Fanaost, and aged gouda made on the small livestock farm of Ostegarden – home to just 12 cows - which made the top slot.
The others which made it ahead of the Madurat from Spain were the Agour Pur Brébis AOP Ossau Iraty, from France; the Helfeit, Brun Geitost, Tinn tradisjøn, by Stordalen Gardsbruk in Norway; the Almnäs Tegel by Almnäs Brukal, Sweden; and the Italian Riserva del Fondatore by Caseificio Il Fiorino.
The Mas El Garet cheese beat Denmark's Lihmskov Grand Fromage; France's Taupinette Jousseaume; and Italy's Baffalo Blu by Caseificio Defendi Luigi and Caciocavallo Azienda by Agricola E Zootecnica Posticchia Sabelli.
Maxorata medium-matured with paprika, or Semicurado con Pimentón (second picture) by the livestock farmers' group in Puerto del Rosario on the Canarian island of Fuerteventura came 11th.
This came ahead of South Africa's Kilembe Belnori from Boutique Cheesery, and the only British brand in the top 15, the eponymous brand made by Golden Cross Cheese.
Number 14 is by the Valladolid-based Entrepinares cheese factory, and comes under the title of La Reserva, or 'The Reserve' (third picture).
It is very frequently seen in Mercadona supermarkets and comes in at just €10.20 a kilo, meaning a typical 200-gram chunk would cost just €2.04.
It beat Italy's Pecorino Gran Riserva aged sheep's milk cheese by Passatore Romagna Terre, and Israel's Maayan Harod by Shirat Roim.
Although only three brands made the top 15, another 12 got into the top 80 in the world – no mean feat, out of almost 3,500 – winning their producers the prestigious 'super-gold' medal.
These are the Miss Capra, by Valdecabras; the Musgo Lavado – literally, 'washed moss' – by Elvira García; the Portuguese goat's cheese which is actually Spanish, except in name, made by Almazora Cheeses; cured goat's cheese with 'raw' milk by the RRR craft cheeses firm; Bodega Oveja, a sheep's milk cheese by Finca de Uga; Ybleu, by Los Payuelos; medium-matured Chisquero by Agrícola La Merced; cured Marantona by La Casota; the Iberian cheese García Baquero by García Baquero dairies; Subaida cured cheese, by Subaida; cow's, goat's and sheep's milk cheese, cured in Castilla-La Mancha wine, by Don Apolonio, and the Cremositos del Zújar, made by Arteserena.
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