Mini-retorta cheese
Mini-Retorta cheese from Finca Pascualete Finca Pascualete

Spain isn't necessarily the first country that comes to mind when you think of great cheese. Styles such as Manchego and Idiazabal are quite often overshadowed by their British and European counterparts.

However, results from the 2017 World Cheese Awards should make customers think again before they overlook these Iberian gems. In the recent world cheese awards, 400 Spanish cheeses were awarded a medal from the 3,000 entries.

Organisers of the awards said the the nation's strong showing was "shining a spotlight on the hard work and dedication of the nation's cheesemakers".

However, one Spanish cheese that towered above the rest - Mini-retorta from Finca Pascualete in Cáceres, western Spain.

Experts said that the exceptional sheep's milk cheese had a flavour "with memories of a field due to its vegetable rennet and a very creamy, almost liquid texture".

The eventual winner of the award was Cornish Kern, a matured medium-hard cow's milk cheese from dairy Lynher Dairies.

"Cornish Kern is a new concept so to see it come to this is so exciting for the company, and a great start for this cheese's career."

In 2016, Los Mazos, another Spanish cheese by maker Queseria Ángel Díaz Herrero, came runner-up with the competition's second highest score.