Olavidia, a soft goat’s cheese from Spain, grabbed the first place at the World Cheese Awards on November 3, 2021. It beat 4,079 entries from more than 40 countries. The champion cheese received 103 votes, while France’s Fromagerie Berthaut finished in second place with 98 votes. According to British judge Jason Hinds, the Spanish cheese had “a flavor that was round and warm.”

The Spanish cheese is a product of Quesos y Besos (Cheeses and Kisses), a factory in southern Spain that is operated by only six employees. Silvia Peláez, the head cheesemaker said, “We are a small cheesemaker in Jaen,” a city in southern Spain best known for its olives. Around 250 judges, including cheese sellers and chefs, were present at the event. They scored the entries based on their look, feel, smell, and taste.

The event began with 88 contestants. Olavidia was the last to be judged among the entries. A blue cheese from Oregon called Rogue River Blue was the winner in 2019. The annual cheese contest was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.