This year’s International Cheese Awards was bigger and better than ever with a record breaking 4615 cheese and dairy produce entries from 31 countries.
I was lucky enough to visit on judging day where the tables were lined with huge chunks of cheese whilst the best in the industry touched, tasted and tested to find the best there was. I’m not entirely sure how they chose from such a large number but that is why they did it and not me!
For the regular visitor you can expect a lot of tasting of your own as you walk the numerous stalls, chat to the cheese makers, sample their delights and – no doubt – come away with a bag or two to take home.
I’m a bit of a sucker for something different and love the flavoured cheeses that seem to be popular at the moment. The Cheshire Cheese Company are based locally to me in Macclesfield and also have a deli within the Trafford Centre. I chatted with them for a while and was intrigued by the tequila, chilli and lime cheese. Bizarrely it changes in your mouth… first the hit of cheese, then a hit of chilli before that subsides to leave a zesty lime flavour. So different!
I also had some fun with the Lactalis range of cheese which you can see here. They even managed to get me to don a beret and string of onions for a selfie with the Eiffel Tower. The sheer amount of cheese consumed must have gone to my head.
The awards themselves are a grand affair although, if you visit, you can also book lunch in this vast marquee. As you can imagine with such a huge number of cheeses there were lots of categories but the UK Supreme Champion was Greenfields Dairy with their Lancashire cheese. So nice to see such a local dairy pick up such an accolade. If you would like to see all the winners you can do so here.
I’ll see you next year when my ultimate aim will be to don the white coat and judge some cheese of my own, well, those flavoured cheeses have my name all over them.
I attended the International Cheese Awards as a guest.