2013 International Cheese Awards, Nantwich - Photo special

PUBLISHED: 00:29 09 September 2013

Belton Cheese celebrate after winning 12 Gold Medal Awards and 5 Trophy wins and many more...

Belton Cheese celebrate after winning 12 Gold Medal Awards and 5 Trophy wins and many more...


Say ‘cheese’ and these days you think of Nantwich. It’s no exaggeration to say that the cheese world beats a path to this Cheshire town for the annual International Cheese Awards.

‘It really is a world-wide event, the biggest in the world,’ says Adrian Lawrence, joint secretary of Nantwich Show, of which the cheese awards are such a large part. ‘We had record entries, 4,286, including a lot of new countries. We had Australia. America, all over Europe, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Cyprus.’

And Cheshire can hold its own in this international competition. Joseph Heler Cheese – based in Nantwich – netted eight golds, six silvers and six bronzes in the judging.

But the cheese of all cheeses, the supreme champion, was Claxstone Smooth Blue, made by Long Clawson Dairy, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

‘It has taken two years to get the flavour profile we wanted – a soft creamy base cheese with mild blue flavour,’ says the company’s marketing manager Janice Breedon. ‘It is appealing to those people who do not necessarily buy into Stilton – an introduction into blue cheese, but for Stilton-lovers, it is something with a creamy texture.’

Also mixing and matching cheesy ideas were the Williams family of David Williams Cheese, Crewe, and Godfrey C Williams and Son grocery in Sandbach. Cheesemaker Daniel Williams - the fifth generation of his family in cheese - was celebrating two silvers and two bronzes in the awards while treating all-comers to samples of sticky toffee cheese and a Madras curry Cheddar. Outrageously tasty they were too.

‘It’s been a pretty good show for us,’ he says. ‘It’s a chance to to see all the producers and buyers, and it’s so local for us.’

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