In the framework of the 33rd edition of World Cheese Awards 2021, the grand prize for best cheese in the world has been given to Olavidia, from the Quesos & Besos cheese factory. The deliberation came after eight intense hours of tasting by the 16 judges and among more than 4,000 aspirants. In second place with 98 votes came soft cheese from France’s Fromagerie Berthaut, which has a scent of the spirit Marc de Bourgogne.
Since it began operating in 2017 under the trade name Lácteos Romero Peláez S. L., Quesos & Besos, from the married couple formed by Silvia Peláez and Paco Romero, has continued to improve to become the company that produces the best cheese in the world. Silvia Pelaez told CNN that they consider themselves “a small humble cheesemaker in Jaen.”
Daily labor has its reward. Lacteos Romero Pelaez has only six employeesSilvia Pelaez, Quesos & Besos cheese factory
It is a lactic coagulation cheese made with goat’s milk from their own livestock. This couple grazes their Malaga goats in the mountains of Jaén, obtaining a milk of supreme quality with which they elaborate their artisan cheeses.
Despite the young age of this cheese factory, Silvia and Paco’s passion for these dairy products does not come from now. Both bring goat’s milk in their DNA for three and four generations, belonging to families with an important livestock tradition. Quesos y Besos has been the way for this couple to return to the rural environment, and to reconnect with their roots.
Among all the cheeses of this dairy, Olavidia has managed to stand out above the rest. It is a lactic coagulation cheese that uses slow-pasteurized goat’s milk, and is matured with molds and charcoal and is made with olive stone ash, among its components.
It is a dry salted cheese that matures for an average of 15 to 20 days with Penecilium and Geotrichum candidum, achieving an excellent creaminess that has led it to obtain 103 points from the jury at the 33rd World Cheese Awards.
To be the best cheese in the world, the container is as important as the content. Olavidia’s flavor is possibly the seventh heaven of cheeses, although one cannot lose sight of its presentation either. Against all odds, this cheese does not have a round shape, but is presented as a square with an intense smell of forest mushrooms with goaty backgrounds and a smooth, creamy texture. An original cheese worthy of occupying the best position.
Olavidia is marketed in a format of 250-300 grams, approximately for a price of 10,15€ and can be purchased online through the website of Quesos & Besos.