Cheese factory Quesos y Besos won the 33rd World Cheese Awards with Olavidia, a product made with goat’s milk from its own livestock.
After eight intense hours of tasting and deliberation at the 33rd Asturias Paraíso Natural International Cheese Festival, it was confirmed that the best cheese in the world is Olavidia, from the Jaén cheese factory Quesos y Besos.
The young cheese factory began operating in 2017, just a few months after its managers, Silvia Peláez and Paco Romero, returned to Jaén.
Both belong to families who have been working with goat’s milk for three and four generations respectively, and selling it both as it is and in the form of goat’s cheese.
The cheesemakers are farmers first. They have Malaga goats that graze in the southern mountains of Jaén, an exceptional area that allows the animals to produce high quality milk with which they make various types of artisan cheeses. Peláez has a lot to do with this process, as she is a chemical technologist and uses a method of curdling, which is the oldest form of fermentation that exists although not predominant in the area, to create a creamy, soft cheese.
The cheese is matured for 15 to 20 days on average with penicillium and geotrichum candidum mold spores, charcoal and ash from olive stones (which took the judges completely by surprise) inside.
The judges awarded the dairy product a total of 103 points.
It was the only cheese in the afternoon to exceed 100 points.
Selected as the best in the world from more than 4,000 applicants, this dry-salted, soft goat’s cheese caused a sensation at the awards organised by English publication The Guild of Fine Food.
Source: SUR in English, November 2021