French cheese takes US world title

French cheesemaker Ensemblés du Laos has been awarded the World Cheese Prize for the year 2021 in the US by the US Cheese Council.

The winning cheese, officially named Ensemblés du Laos, or ‘the wonders of Le Mars’, is a milk fat emulsion of goat’s and goat’s milk and mozzarella cheese produced in the French village of Ensemblés du Laos. It is described by the cheese council as “the world’s greatest fresh cheese” and is 200 miles (320km) outside Paris.

Organisers of the competition believe Ensemblés du Laos, which is produced from locally sourced milk rather than goat’s milk, is one of the best-kept secrets of the French marketplace. It is also named the cheesiest cheese in France.

Ensemblés du Laos was presented with the prize in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, at the start of this month and taken to France by a delegation of Ensemblés du Laos cheesemakers to give it the official seal of approval.

The competition in Doylestown was held to decide the world’s most superior cheese, using a “séances” scoring system. There was no restriction on the type of cheese that could be entered, nor the size of the cheese or its country of origin. The cheese does need to be new to market. However, each cheese must have been found to be as tasty as its makers thought it was.

The winning cheese won by a large margin, with a score of 83.54 out of 100. It beat second-placed National French Cheese Co-op of Loaureux, France, with a score of 59.1, with third-placed Suminiyo Goat Cheese, Japan, scoring 53.31.

Ensemblés du Laos is made in the picturesque main market of Les Cèdres, close to Ensemblés du Laos village in the region of Varjaz in the Var department. The family-run cheesemaking operation is renowned for the quality of its products.

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