The cheese that won a golden medal

Proud and satisfied Carlos Helguera rejoices in the award he won together with Gammel Erik AS at this year’s World Cheese Awards in Bergen. Before winning the competition, the cheese produced by Gammel Erik had already won the prestigious title of a Dairy Product of the Year at Trøndersk Food Festival. (Photo: Trøndersk Food Festival)

For many, cheese is an essential element of the laden with food Christmas table. At this year’s Farmer’s market, you will find a selection of various cheese products of the best quality. Three of this year’s exhibitors are coming to the Christmas market with cheese that made it to the final at the competition in Bergen. Gammel Erik will serve the cheese that won a golden medal.

During World Cheese Awards 2018, that were held in Bergen during the first weekend of November, Trøndelag was well represented and there were many winning products coming from the region among the total number of 3 500 various types of cheese from across the world. Gammel Erik, Grindal Ysteri and Hitra Gårdsmat took golden awards home but the most desired one went to Gammel Erik AS for the Gammel Erik cheese that won them this year’s championship in cheese production.

Gammel Erik – a tasteful Trønder, as the producer says. (Photo: Gammel Erik AS)

A super gold winner

‘It didn’t feel real to win but it did feel so good.’ says General Manager at Gammel Erik AS, Carlos Helguera.

All the participating in the competition cheeses were spread across big tables that could fit 50 samples. Each table had their gold, silver, and bronze winners. Winning a super gold at a given table automatically meant that cheese won a qualification to the semi-final. Gammel Erik turned out to be unbeatable and won the award.

‘We started cheese production 2.5 years ago and at the time we were already ready to produce cheese of the top quality that could already compete with the best cheeses in the world. It was a great compliment for us and only gave us stronger motivation.’ says Helguera. ‘We are looking forward to delivering a fantastic tasting experience at this year’s Christmas market.’

Many of the World Cheese Awards winners announced their presence at the Farmer’s market already on the 7th December, when the Christmas market begins. Come and check out what Grindal Ysteri and Hitra Gårdsmat have to offer.

Tasteful but mild

Grindal Ysteri participated in the competition with three of their cheeses: Myrull (bronze), Askeladd (bronze) and the gold winner, Råblå. Turid Nordbø from Grindal Ysteri says that Råblå is this type of blue cheese you will fall in love with, even if you don’t like that type at all.

‘It’s different from a generic blue cheese. It’s firm, more aromatic, less <blue> and it has a tasty crust. It’s made from fresh milk and left to mature for 2 months. Compared to similar products its taste is richer and the secret to it is that it matures twice, first in a warm room, and then in the cold.’ says Turid Nordbø. ‘Tasteful but mild. As simple as that.’

Råblå fra Grindal Ysteri won a golden medal at the World Cheese Awards in Bergen and according to the producer, it’s a cheese anyone would fall in love with. (Photo: Grindal Ysteri)

Taste of gold

Similarly to his colleagues from Hitra Gårdsmat, Bodil Birkeland is very proud of the results of the championship in Bergen. Hitra Gårdsmat participated with one cheese in three different stages of storing and aging: Ung Grotteost (young), Ekstra lagret Grotteost (mature), and a standard Grotteost. All three of them won gold.

Bodil says that Ekstra lagret Grotteost, that has been aging for more than 5 years, surprises with its taste, what ultimately secured Hitra Gårdsmat the golden medal in the competition.

All of the three producers bring their award-winnnig cheeses to the Farmer’s market during this year’s Christmas market. Don’t wait too long. Popular products get sold out fast.

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Read more: This is what the Christmas market is all about (7 – 19 December)

Read more: This year’s exhibitors