Juliet's Cheese Board
Cheeses I have known, Cheeses I have loved.
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The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Creamery Cheese category: Mature Cheddar by Lake District Cheese Co. Firm, compact, classic cheddar texture with crunchy salt crystals while the flavour has the modern “sweet” cheddar notes that hint of caramelised onions balanced with a more savoury, though still very fruit, finish. It certainly won over the judges.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Export Cheese category: Goats Cheddar by Quickes Traditional. With a texture like young cheddar it has a superb complexity of on-going flavour explosions. First come hints of Dijon mustard then ground almonds tapering off to hints of tarragon typical of hard goats milk cheeses.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best New Cheese category: Federia by Larkton Hall Cheese. A large, elegant wheel with the marks of the cloth imprinted on its dry, leathery rind. It is chewy with a buttery feel and a taste in the mouth that gradually releases its sweet grassy notes and hints of white wine and red onions. An interesting new-comer.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Flavour Added Cheese category: Smoked Red Leicester by Belton Cheese Ltd. The dark, warm brown rind and bold, deep, russet red of the Leicester makes a very appealing partnership while the richness of the cheese and its strong but not overpowering barbecue aromas and tastes, does not disappoint. It is more than just a smoked Leicester – it is the definitive cheese for those who love big, bold, yet rounded smoked cheese.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Blue Cheese category: Barkham Blue by Two Hoots Cheese. No stranger to success, this elegant blue won Supreme Champion and Best Blue in 2008. Beneath its sticky barely formed, knobbly rind is a very buttery, deep yellow, interior characteristic of Channel Island milk with chunky, dark blue, blotchy veins. The taste is like sweet, spicy butter with an aromatic, peppery bite like rocket.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Traditional British cheese category: Single Gloucester PDO by Smarts Traditional Gloucester Cheeses. Diana Smart, now in her eighties, still makes award winning cheeses with the help of her sons. The thin yellow, leathery rind Single Gloucester has a delicate pana cotta aroma that translates in to a sweet, melted butter taste and wonderfully chewy feel in the mouth that demands to be eaten. A cheese you have to return to again and again.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Modern British category: Lord of the Hundred by Traditional Cheese Dairy Co. Square, raw ewes’ milk cheese with distinctive ridges, rounded corners and rustic rind dusted with a multitude of brown, grey and charcoal moulds. Inside it is dense, compact and slightly oily with a superb burnt caramel, sweetness from the milk that hints of roast lamb and crushed Brazil nuts.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Territorial category: Crumbly Lancashire Traditional by Belton Cheese Ltd. Made in a huge, traditional, clothbound wheel with a very crumbly, pale cream interior. The lemony fresh acidity dominates but there is a strong green grassy tang to finish.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Cheddar category: Traditional Mild Cheddar by Quickes Traditional Ltd. There were 112 cheeses in this category so to win it with a mild cheddar makes this an even more impressive win. Made to a 16th Century recipe on Quickes 450 year old family farm it has a firm body and a wonderful subtle but distinct cheesy taste with a buttery feel and fruity and nutty notes. The only traditional cheddar maker in Devon.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Soft White Cheese category: St Eadburgha Brie by Gorsehill Abbey Farm Made from Friesian and Montbeliarde milk it has a classic, wrinkly, Brie-type crust and yeasty, mushroom soup aroma while the interior is a gorgeously rich, goopy texture that tastes like wild mushroom soup with a dash of sherry. It demands to be eaten before it burst out of its rind. Very very repeatable!
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Fresh Cheese category: Dorstone by Neal’s Yard Creamery Winner of the same award in 2010 it is a small, handsome, compact cylinder with a sticky whitish rind dusted with ash creating a stark contrast with the pure white soft melt in the mouth, mousse-like interior. Fresh with a lemony zing and subtle herbaceous tang overlaid with a wonderful nutty goaty taste.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Goat category: Killeen Goat by Killeen Farmhouse Cheese. Smooth and supple like a young Gouda with gentle acidity that gradually reveals its nutty notes and a suggestion of the farmyard on the finish. Wonderful boulder shape with a smooth leathery brown rind dusted with white mould.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Organic category: Loch Arthur Farmhouse by Loch Arthur Creamery. A second win for the team at Loch Arthur creamery lead by Barry Graham who has put his heart and sole into making cheese an integral part of the Loch Arthur Community. It is a cheddar style cheese with a vibrant, lively complexity of flavours hard and chewy with a green grassy finish.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best PDO/PDI category: Denhay Mature Traditional Cheddar by Denhay Farms Ltd. Made with milk from their own herd and wrapped in cloth that is traditionally sealed with lard it has a lovely firm, dense texture that feels rich and buttery with a savoury tang that becomes more grassy and mellow on the finish. Excellent example of a traditional cheddar.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Scottish category: Criffel by Loch Arthur Creamery. Made at Loch Arthur Community, a self-contained village set up to care for those with a mental handicap . Criffel is a flat, square, wash rind cheese with a bright, burnt orange, ridged rind and supple, yielding texture. Deep and rounded with a meaty “roast beef” taste while the aroma has pungent farmyardy notes that cheese lovers love.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Best Welsh category: Teifi Farmhouse Cheese by Teifi Farmhouse. Also winner in 2001 and 2003 of the same award it is a magnificent, farmhouse, Gouda-style cheese. Hard, almost brittle the interior is a deep sunshine yellow and it packs a big flavour for such a small cheese with both savoury and sweet notes.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 winner of the Patrick Rance Trophy for Best English: Devon Blue by Ticklemore Cheese. This magnificent deep drum-shaped cheese with its very crumbly, barely formed rind and minimal blueing offers the cheese lover a unique blue cheese flavour. Neither strong nor mild it is smoky, chocolatety and with a finish reminiscent of tarragon and white wine.
The British Cheese Awards 2011 Supreme Champion: Kilree by Knockdrinna Cheese. Beneath its fine orange slightly sticky, leathery rind is a smooth, pale ivory interior that breaks rather than crumbles into large flakes . The flavours are complex yet well balanced hinting of almonds and marzipan, characteristic of semi-soft goat cheeses and as these flavours fade they are replaced with hints of sea mist, and lush, green grass mingled with wild garlic and chives.