Ukrainian Cheeses Debut At World Cheese Awards | culture: the word on cheese
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Ukrainian Cheeses Debut At World Cheese Awards

Since ancient times, Ukrainians have produced cheese for their families. Over time, the volume and skills of cheesemakers grew, and cheese became one of the most used goods in trade. The first mentions of Ukrainian cheese were made 1,000 years ago. Unfortunately, due to oppression by the Soviet authorities, Ukrainian culture, including its cheese culture, lost more than 75 years of development. 

However, Ukraine’s artisan cheesemakers have persevered, and this year, for the first time, the 39 best cheeses from Ukraine will participate in the World Cheese Awards on Nov. 2 in Newport, Wales. The following are a few noteworthy representatives:


Dooobra Ferma is a unique cheese factory in a rural part of the Kyiv region. Their production philosophy is based on the principle, “Do everything yourself because no one can do it better than you,” which includes everything from plowing the land for sowing grain to delivering the cheese. Their wide range of dairy products are in demand among Ukrainians, especially the bestseller, Bikoz, a hard goat’s milk cheese. Made similarly to a Dutch Gouda, Bikoz is famous for its spicy-sweet taste with slightly sour notes and creamy aroma. Aging the cheese for 12-15 months allows for tyrosine crystals to develop. The paste is a beautiful light straw color and contains small holes, and the texture of the cheese is crumbly.


RORY is a farm and cheese factory from the Kyiv region making craft cheeses from pedigree goats’ milk. In 2021, two of their cheeses were among the finalists of the national ProCheese Awards competition. Bessarabia is a hard goat’s milk cheese, created in the style of the Swiss cheese, Belper Knolle. Selected Bessarabian spices add a piece of South Ukrainian spirit to this cheese, which Rory has produced since 2021. It matures in 21 days and the buttery, crumbly center has a moderately intense taste of goat’s milk. The small size of this cheese makes it perfect for picnics or as a snack to take on a walk.


You probably didn’t think that cheese could transport you to the holiday season with just its aroma. Meet Vihola, a bloomy rind cheese made from pasteurized goat’s milk, decorated with a sprig of spruce and small pine cones. It is produced by Syroman, located on the outskirts of Kyiv, where the recipe for this cheese came about unexpectedly. The creamery’s goats graze freely year round. Most of the time, they feed on fresh grass, but in winter, they feed on pine twigs that they find under the snow, which gives their milk a pine flavor. The cheesemakers decided to enhance this flavor by adding pine needles to the cheese itself. The result is a sweet, creamy cheese with bright notes of pine and mushroom. In older wheels, the texture becomes runny and the flavors more pronounced.

Ricotta Classic

Molochna Maisternya‘s Ricotta Classic is the Ukrainian analogue of the famous Italian ricotta. The secret to its creamy, milky, and sweet flavor lies in a longer grazing period for the cows that provide the milk for this cheese. The Kirovohrad region, where the creamery is located, has an exceptionally large number of sunny days, allowing the cows to spend more time outside.

Goat Forêt Noir

Lisova Koza is one of Ukraine’s largest farms, located in the Kirovohrad region. In addition to cheesemaking, it specializes in breeding and selling young Alpine goats, one of the most productive dairy breeds with high physical performance and good health. The farm’s owners believe that professional animal care is one of the most critical factors affecting cheese taste. 

Goat Forêt Noir has a sweet and sour taste with a hint of sharpness, which it owes to its 12-month aging. The aroma is dominated by nutty and creamy notes and the texture is ivory with small holes. The name comes from the nearby Black Forest—Forêt Noir in French. The World Cheese Awards is the first competition for this cheese.


This cheese is produced in one of the picturesque cities of Ukraine — Lviv. At Cheese Mandry, they are convinced that natural raw materials are essential for creating tasty and healthy cheese. Here, farm cheese is made from fresh ecological milk. Tsurkan was one of the winners of the 2021 ProCheese Awards. It is made from Lacon sheep milk according to the recipe for Pecorino Sardo, but it has a Ukrainian soul and a natural rind covered with cocoa power. As is characteristic of sheep’s cheese, the taste is salty, but in the aftertaste, caramel, herbal, and notes of roasted hazelnut are present Aged for 10-11 months, the cheese has a crumbly and fatty texture with a sprinkle of small eyes and tyrosine crystals.

Lancashire “Al Pacino

Dairy O’BEREG, located in the Sumy region, produces young and aged cheeses in several world styles: Dutch, English, Swiss and Italian. Gouda, maasdam, cheddar, Lancashire, ricotta, Irish blue, brie, brunost, halloumi, and others are among them. This cheese is hard to miss—it will definitely catch your eye! Interesting inside and out, Lancashire “Al Pacino” was inspired by the movie actor. It symbolizes our life with its three colors: white—the good things; black—the bad things; and yellow—the neutral things. The taste is rich and creamy with a pronounced sourness.


Family-run Lviv cheese factory Jersey produces cheeses from cow’s and sheep’s milk. Their cheeses are made according to unique recipes, which have won awards at Ukrainian and international professional and specialized competitions. Massimo is washed with pear distillate, which gives it a particular taste with fruity notes. The wrinkled rind hides a creamy center with a liquid layer around it. The paste has notes of citrus will nutty flavors closer to the rind, and the birch wrapping adds a raw aromatic note.

Oksana Chernova

Oksana is a cheese expert in the ProCheese community, co-founder of the ProCheese Academy and the Ukrainian ProCheese Awards, and a Super Gold judge at the World Cheese Awards.

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