We asked you to give us your nom-nom-nomination for the GREATEST British cheese and said we would CROWN the winner - and reward people with some FREE TICKETS...
Everyone coming to our MAY EVENTS will get the chance to stuff their faces with Great BRITISH Cheese and judge for themselves who should wear the crown...
Meantime, why is British cheese so blooming GREAT anyway? Here's the TOP five reasons...
1. We INVENTED cheddar.
Cheddar is not just a category of cheese or a type, it is a process - and yes, it was invented by us Brits.
'Cheddaring' is a way of using the weight of several cheeses to squeeze the moisture out of them. Cheeses are wrapped in cloth, then stacked a few cheeses high. The weight of the top cheeses squeeze the whey and moisture out of the lower ones, then each day, the bottom one is taken and placed on top. This method is gentle, efficient, it reduces whey content, helps to adjust acidity, and adds characteristic textural qualities.
Artisan, authentic British cheddar is one of the wonders of the world of cheese.
2. The British cheese industry came BACK FROM THE DEAD
After two world wars that decimated British cheese, lost the skills that artisan cheese-making demanded and separated thousands of people from dairy farming, all that was left was the dreaded Milk Marketing Board that managed to develop one cheese (Lymeswold) in its 60 year lifespan. By the Eighties though, smaller, smarter dairy farmers and clever cheese makers started to bring back artisan cheese. And like a phoenix, the British cheese industry rose up and never looked back. Stunning traditional cheese, amazing innovation - what a combo!
3. We have kept it regional
British cheese is full of variety, and many cheeses are sold nationally, yet there is still a wonderful range of local cheeses that reflect the geography and landscape of where they are made. Lancashires, West Country cheddars, Scottish blues, there are even city-based cheese-makers... Local identity still matters and British cheese knows it!
4. Great cheese shops!
There was a time when finding a good cheese meant wandering around the countryside. if only there was a place where you could buy amazing British cheese? Step forward the cheese shops of England. Not just an afterthought, cheese is not the driving force behind some amazing retail operations from the stalls outside Kings Cross Station to Borough Market, Neals Yard and the award-winning George and Joseph in our beloved Yorkshire! Passionate people presenting the perfect cheese plus advice, know-how and fab service. Support them. They rock.
5. Innovation is KING!
Unlike the (wonderful) cheese producers of France, Spain and Italy, the British cheese-makers are never shy to come up with something new. Building on a tradition maybe, but soon enough, these amazing new cheeses find their own identity and go in to win awards, change peoples perceptions and expand an already fabulous array of cheese produced in Britain. It starts with happy herds, producing great milk, and clever people making something delicious! The rest is history.
So whoever wins our little CHEESE popularity contest, the real winners are the lucky people of BRITAIN with some of the best cheese in the world right here on your doorstep!