Around 3.000 cheeses from six continents were present at the competition and were judged by over 230 of the finest palates and noses from all over the world, including cheesemakers, technical experts, buyers, retailers and food writers. Judges worked in teams of three or four and were asked to identify any cheeses worthy of a bronze, silver or gold award. They looked at the rind and the body of the cheese, then colour, texture, consistency and, above all, the taste!
Each team had also to point out one exceptional cheese as the Super Gold from their table. 66 cheeses were awarded as Super Gold, the best in the world. Three Parmesan Cheeses were awarded as Super Gold and were judged a second time by the a Super Jury of 16 internationally recognised experts, who nominated the 16 finalists. One Parmesan Cheese has been awarded in the Top 16 Cheeses Selection.
Parmesan Cheese is certainly the undisputed king of cheeses. With over 800 years of tradition, it is still produced in a restricted area of Italy (Bologna, Parma, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Mantova), with raw materials which must come from the production area, and all producers make it the same way! Pamesan numbers are impressive: 400 producers all selected by the authority - Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano; 3.500 farms providing the milk, 275.000 cows; a production of around 3 million parmesan cheese wheels per year.