Canary Islands boast the best cheese in Spain

In the country's most prestigious cheese competition, 880 cheeses, including entries from the Canary Islands, competed to be named the best.

Don Nicolás de Finca de Uga, a matured cow’s cheese crafted in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, has been crowned as Spain’s Best Cheese for the year 2024. This prestigious accolade was awarded during the 14th GourmetQuesos Championship, the highlight of the 37th edition of the Salón Gourmets. This cheese, known for its rich, cooked paste, distinguished itself among the stiff competition to win this celebrated title.

The competition also bestowed the ICEX ‘Cheese from Spain Awards’ on another standout entry, the aged Villarejo cheese, which is cured in honey and oregano and produced by Quesos Artesanos Villarejo in Cuenca. This particular award seeks to encourage and support Spanish cheese producers who are capable of competing in international markets, aiming to promote the broader recognition and distribution of Spanish cheeses globally.

Canary Islands boast the best cheese in Spain

The GourmetQuesos Championship stands as the most illustrious contest in Spain’s cheese industry. This year, it featured a participation of 880 distinct cheeses. The selection process began in March, where cheeses were meticulously evaluated on several key characteristics including the appearance of the rind, the color, texture, aroma, taste, aftertaste, and overall persistence of flavor. From this rigorous assessment, the top 100 cheeses were chosen, representing the best in each of the 20 categories introduced in the competition.

Canary Islands boast the best cheese in Spain

These finalists were then subjected to the critical palates of a judging panel comprised of 60 experts during the final round (with 63 judges participating in the semi-final round), ensuring a thorough and fair evaluation based on the sophisticated sensory profiles of each cheese. This panel’s expertise and careful judgment culminated in the selection of Don Nicolás as the standout winner, affirming its status as the premier cheese in Spain for 2024.

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