Twenty-three U.S. companies brought home 43 medals from the prestigious World Cheese Competition in London in June. The event attracted more than 1,500 entries from four continents. Against an excellent field, U.S. artisan cheeses captured 12 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze medals in a wide range of classes.

"The prestige of winning gold at the World Cheese Awards is close to taking gold in the Olympics," says Bob Farrand of the UK Cheese Guild and chairman of the contest. "It doesn't get any better because you've been judged alongside the very best cheeses in the world: the best from the USA, the best from large and small producers in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - and the absolute cream from every cheese-making country in Europe."