It turns out we're pretty darn good at making cheese.
25 Irish cheesemakers battled it out at the Artisan Cheese Awards in the U.K. this week with The Coolea Extra Matured nabbing the reserve supreme champion award and named the best Irish cheese.
Overall, Irish cheesemakers brought home an impressive 14 gold awards, 12 silver and 24 bronze.
The supreme champion cheese, was Edmond Tew, made by the Blackwoods Cheese Company in Kent.
Coolea Extra Matured is an aged Gouda made by the Willems family in West Cork.
The Irish champion is no stranger to awards winning several in the past including Best Matured Gouda in the World Cheese Awards 2008 and Supreme Champion at the Listowel Food Fair in 2008 and 2009.
Four of the 16 classes were won by Irish cheeses, including Coolea’s victory in the best hard cheese category.
Irish goats’ cheeses were some of the strongest contenders; Killeen Cheddar won its class, and Galway Goat Farm fresh goats’ cheese in second place.
Galway Goat Farm went on to win the best new cheese class with its The Three Sisters cheese.
They brought home three gold, one silver and two bronze.
Toonsbridge equalled this effort with two silver and four bronzes for its Italian-style cheeses.
The best semi-soft cheese was Durrus Og.
The runner-up in the best new cheese class was Ruby; a red ale-washed soft cheese made by Cooleeney Farm.
Someone, please pass the cheese.