Exclusive tasting for judges. Source: Guild of Fine Food. Photographer: Simon Regan

Cheeses of Ukrainian producers have collected many positive reviews and hundreds of emotions from representatives of international companies and world-class experts. Oksana Chernova, ProCheese cheese expert, founder of ProCheese Academy, and judge of the World Cheese Awards international competition, shares her impressions of the event.

This year, at the World Cheese Awards (WCA) in Great Britain, the international cheese community had the opportunity to get acquainted with Ukrainian cheeses for the first time: at the national stand and an exclusive cheese tasting for the judges of the international competition.

Paul Thomas, Technical Director of the British Academy of Cheese

Paul Thomas at an exclusive tasting for the judges. Source: procheese.ua

Paul noted that the taste and look of the cheeses fully meet the technical standards and indicate that the product was made under the right conditions. “Amazing taste. In fact, other cheese experts and I previously had the impression that Ukrainian producers are not yet ready for world-scale competitions. But this year’s tasting really amazed me,” says Paul.

Noemie Richard, Groupe Savencia Fromage and Dairy representative 

Representatives of Groupe Savencia Fromage and Dairy at the Ukrainian stand. Source: procheese.ua

Noemi admitted that Ukrainian cheeses unexpectedly impressed her with their taste. Company representatives are sincerely glad that our cheese producers have finally started to present their product on the international stage and are looking for ways to improve it. “Of course, so far, this cheese cannot be called perfect in all respects. But its taste and great look are ambitious, and we are fascinated to watch its further development,” comments Noemie.

Judge of the World Cheese Awards international competition, Deborah Gray

Deborah noted the rich, buttery taste of the Ukrainian cheese “Massimo” from the cheese factory “Jersey”. “Black Cheddar” from “O’BEREG” also caught her attention, as the judge had never tasted such cheese before. She expected that there would be a sharp taste of charcoal because the cheese is vibrant black. However, she was pleasantly surprised by the taste and liked it very much.

“Black Cheddar” at an exclusive tasting for the judges. Source: procheese.ua
“Massimo” at an exclusive tasting for judges. Source: Guild of Fine Food. Photographer: Simon Regan

Representatives of the Parmigiano Reggiano consortium

A group of representatives tasted the hard cow’s cheese “Lehenda” from “Dooobra ferma”. They were pleasantly surprised as it tasted very much like Parmigiano Reggiano. Many of the other guests at the stand also noted this similarity. Gentle caramel notes that add sweetness to this cheese did not leave anyone indifferent.

“Lehenda”, tastings at the stand. Source: procheese.ua

Also, many judges and international experts noted other Ukrainian cheeses. The 18-month aging Gouda from the “European Cheese Factory” has a full caramel-nut flavor and a pleasant buttery structure. Goat cheese “Chornolisky Sanglier” from “Lisova Koza” impressed many with its sweet grassy notes, a pleasant taste of goat’s milk with a slight saltiness in the aftertaste.

“Gouda” at an exclusive tasting for judges. Source: Guild of Fine Food. Photographer: Simon Regan

“I can note that our cheeses are worthy of being presented to an international audience. Ukrainian manufacturers are concerned not only about the taste of their products but also about their appearance. Of course, there is still work to be done, but we hope that in a few years, we will be able to see Ukrainian cheese on the shelves of large foreign supermarkets,” says Oksana Chernova.

We want to remind you that the World Cheese Awards is the largest international cheese competition in Europe, in which Ukrainian cheeses took part for the first time in the 34 years of the competition. Ardis Group and the ProCheese community are the official representatives of Ukraine at the event. The project took place with the support of Switzerland as part of the Swiss-Ukrainian Quality Food Trade Program.

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