Over a thousand cheeses tasted in Val de Bagnes (VS)

Over a thousand cheeses tasted in Val de Bagnes (VS)

100 and fifty jurors tasted greater than a thousand cheeses on Thursday as a part of the twelfth version of the ‘Swiss Cheese Awards’ competitors which is going down this yr in Val de Bagnes. The Valais commune will eat and speak about cheese till Sunday.

The 150 jurors met on Thursday morning in a big room at Espace Saint-Marc in Le Châble, capital of the city of Val de Bagnes. They got here from throughout Switzerland but in addition from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Nice Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and even from Japan the place the cheese could be very appreciated, confirms to Keystone-ATS Andréas Leibundgut, ‘Swiss Cheese Awards’ challenge supervisor at Fromarte, the umbrella affiliation of Swiss cheese artisans.

Gruyère, Tête de Moine, Glarner Alpkäse and even semi-hard and delicate goat’s cheese are among the 32 classes of cheese offered throughout its ‘Swiss Cheese Awards’. ‘The competitors is open to any cheese maker; this yr, we have now round 300 producers who can current a most of 1 cheese per class,” explains Andréas Leibundgut.

Hazelnut, caramel or curd

For this twelfth version, 1064 cheeses had been within the working. A single juror tastes about forty of them for 5 to 6 hours; ‘it is not a process to be underestimated, it’s important to cling on and be very targeted’, continues the challenge supervisor.

The jurors had been clearly chosen for his or her curiosity in cheese. They’re sellers or consumers of the commodity, enterprise homeowners, coaching managers, journalists or enlightened shoppers.

They first study the looks of the product: dimension, form, colour, texture. Then they scent the items and squeeze them between their fingers to understand their energy, aromas, consistency, earlier than tasting them and appreciating all the things within the mouth.

Aromas of caramel, hazelnut, curd, herbage…, between two bites the jurors rinse their style buds with just a little water or bread. ‘A cheese tasting could be very very like a wine tasting,’ notes Andréas Leibundgut.

The champions of every class will likely be introduced Thursday on the finish of the day and can participate within the election of the ‘Swiss champion’ on Friday, elected by overseas jurors solely. ‘It is extra about selecting a favorite, so troublesome is it to match a Gruyère with a goat’s cheese, for instance’.

Cows, horses, mules

The ‘Swiss Cheese Awards’ had been created in 2000. First annual, the touring occasion grew to become biannual from 2004. ‘The intention is to advertise cheese but in addition to provide producers the chance to current their merchandise and to have the option consider it’, says Andréas Leibundgut.

The final version happened in Lucerne in 2018 earlier than the Covid led to a pressured break in 2020. ‘Over time, phrase of mouth particularly has labored very properly and Fromarte now has a database of some 2000 to 2500 cheese producers seemingly to participate within the competitors’.

The occasion has a price range of roughly 400,000 francs. It’s financed particularly by sponsorship, producer registrations, voluntary providers and federal assist by way of gross sales promotion.

The ‘Swiss cheese Awards’ happen this yr as a part of the 18th version of Bagnes Capitale de la Raclette which takes place till September twenty fifth. On this system particularly, the cheese market, manufacturing of Raclette AOP and Fontina DOP in a cellular laboratory, tastings, conferences, heifer fights and even the normal Sunday procession with cows, horses, mules, sheep, canines from Grand-Saint- Bernard and music.



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