The World Cheese Awards – described as the Oscars of the cheese world – have been held in Bergamo, Italy, and the results will make painful reading for French cheesemakers.
France was not present on the winners podium with the world's best cheese award being given to an American product – Rogue River Blue from Oregon.
But not only that, in a result described as “sacrilege” by one French newspaper, just one of the top 16 cheeses was French.
France had to be content with a lowly joint 8th position for Epoisses – a soft cow's milk cheese with a crust and a runny centre from the Burgundy region.
In fourth place was a British cheese – Pitchfork Cheddar.
Roquefort cheese being aged in caves in south west France Photo: AFP
The mighty names of the French cheese scene – Roquefort, Camembert, Brie, Comté – were nowhere to be seen among the best rated cheeses, which were selected from among 3,472 cheeses from 41 countries.
According to the judges, the best cheeses in the world are;
1. Organic Blue Cheese Rogue River Blue (USA)
2. Nazionale del Parmigiano Reggiano Latteria Sociale Santo Stefano (Italy)
3. Torta del Casar DOP Virgen del Prado (Spain)
4. Pitchfork Cheddar (UK)
5. Gruyère AOP Premier Cru (Switzerland)
6. Quintano (Italy)
7. Gallus (Switzerland)
8. Gruyère AOP (Switzerland)
8. Epoisses AOP (France)
10. Mori No Cheese (Japan)