Visiting Italy for the very first time, the World Cheese Awards will be held in Bergamo on Friday 18 October, forming part of the city’s annual cheese festival, FORME. A four day celebration of cheese set in the Medieval heart of Bergamo and beyond, this year’s FORME will play host to over 3,500 entries from six continents, as the international cheese community gathers for the 32nd edition of the competition.
As 250 experts nose, taste and deliberate entries from more than 40 different countries, FORME’s 40,000 visitors will be given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the World Cheese Awards action. Festival-goers will be able to buy tickets to witness the judging unfold live, as all entries are assessed in a single day to find this year’s World Champion Cheese, with tasting tours then held in the judging hall over the weekend.
For the first time ever, an exhibition of previous World Champion Cheeses will be staged showcasing the rich heritage of the competition, held at the Palazzo della Ragione in the centre of Bergamo’s Città Alta. Downstairs under the loggia, which opens out into the square, a bustling market will honour the region’s Cheese Valleys, while FORME’s conference programme, training sessions and tastings led by ONAF (The Italian National Organization of Cheese Tasters) experts get underway in many of the other historic buildings set within the iconic Venetian walls of the upper town.
Taking its place at the centre of the cheese world this October, Bergamo will open its doors to cheese lovers, cheesemakers, cheesemongers and cheese people from across the globe, as the largest cheese-only competition on the planet comes to town.
The World Cheese Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, will take place on Friday 18 October, forming part of the FORME festival in Bergamo, which will run from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 October.
Tickets to attend selected FORME events, including those associated with the World Cheese Awards, will be available to purchase online from www.progettoforme.eu by summer 2019, while many other events within the FORME schedule will be free of charge.
World Cheese Awards
A firm date in every cheese lover’s calendar, the World Cheese Awards has been bringing together cheesemakers, retailers, buyers, consumers and food commentators worldwide for over three decades, in a celebration of tradition, innovation and excellence in cheese. It’s the biggest cheese-only event in the world, with no yoghurt, cream, butter or other dairy able to enter, championing the world’s best cheesemakers, from tiny artisans to global heavyweights.
Judges work in teams of three to four, identifying any cheeses worthy of a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. They look at the rind and the body of the cheese, its colour, texture, consistency and, above all, its taste. Each team then nominates one exceptional cheese as the Super Gold from their table. These 78 cheeses are the best in the world and are judged a second time by the Super Jury of 16 internationally recognised experts, who each select a cheese to champion in the final round of judging. The Super Jury, representing all four corners of the globe, then debates the final 16 in front of a live consumer and trade audience, before choosing the World Champion Cheese live on WCA TV.