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The Manchego DO Gran Reserva, from Dehesa de los Llanos in the province of Albacete, is the first cheese from mainland Spain to win the award.
The traditional unpasteurised ewes’ milk cheese managed to beat over 2,700 other British and international entries and was described by the judges as being ‘a stunning cheese – light, with high notes like a choral song and an aromatic, long finish’.
255 judges from around the world took part at the event, which was staged alongside the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC.
Bob Farrand, co-organiser of the World Cheese Awards, said, “This Manchego is an exquisite example of an artisan cheese made with incredible skill. It was obvious to the panel of judges that this was a world class cheese and they were glowing in praise for the cheesemaker.”
Out of the 2,781 cheeses entered into the competition, 25% were from the UK with the rest being produced in 29 other countries.
London-based cheese shop Paxton & Whitfield was also named Britain’s Best Cheese Counter and Cheesemonger of the Year at the awards.