I was lucky once again to visit the International Cheese Awards 2016 this week – where the creme de la creme (or fromage de fromage. No? I’ll get my coat…) of the cheese world compete to be crowned supreme champion.
5,000 cheeses were entered into the contest, with the supreme champion being announced as Dutch producers Treur Kaas for their aged Jerseyhoeve Schorren. You can see all of the results on the ICA website here.
The cheese tent is a turophile’s* dream – take a look…
A massive team of judges spend hours deliberating.
Look at this amazing flag of cheese – it was about 6m wide. Created by Asda to celebrate British cheesemakers.
Like olives, I will try blue cheese once a year, and then revert to not liking it! There is no denying how beautiful it is though.
Apparently you can only buy these amazing crisps made with Colliers cheese in Wales. Lucky, lucky Wales.
I had to try it didn’t I? Swizzels and The Cheshire Cheese Co have made a Parma Violet cheese. I actually love parma violets but this was not for me. To be fair I am not a fan of additive cheese in general (cheese with added flavourings) but the chilli and lime in their range had me more convinced- I think it was the tang of lime.
Chef Joe Hurd took some time out between demos to talk about his Italian-Yorkshire heritage and the heritage of Galbani cheese. It’s not just an Italian sounding brand name conjured up by a British marketing unit (yes, I work in marketing!) but a real Italian brand with a long heritage. He shared a great tip with myself and Jane from HodgePodgeDays which I will be trying very soon and I will share with you if it is as awesome as I hope it is. That courgette and fennel salad will be making its way in to my kitchen/belly soon as well!
Dziugas is an amazing Lithuanian cheese which I will write more about soon. The older it gets the more mind blowing it gets!
This was one of the weirder finds of the show but I really like it. Curd cheese, coated in chocolate. In a bar. Like cheesecake but without the biscuit base. Available in various flavours, this pictured has jelly cubes in it. I really liked it even though it is probably very wrong. No uk outlets yet – come on retailers make this happen!
Dehydrated cheese = ace snackage!
I ended up snapping some shots of La Guilde Internationale des Fromagers – a cheesemakers and cheese industry guild who welcome new members into the fold every year. One lady had come all the way from Australia. As well as some well deserving members of the dairy industry they awarded chef James Martin with membership for his services to the cheese industry. I think he looked pretty chuffed!
Thank you to the ICA for the invite and wonderful hospitality.
Now excuse me, I must go and tidy the cheese shelf in my fridge!
*Turophile=cheese lover. I seriously had never heard this word until a few days ago when it was in a BBC quiz. Every day is an education!