Gouda and pecorino named among best British cheeses
Two English takes on Continental cheeses were among the winners at the first Great British Cheese Awards (GBCAs), announced at a ceremony in London this week.
Cornish Gouda, made by Giel Spierings at Lanreath, near Looe, was named Best Hard Cheese, while Yorkshire Pecorino, produced to a Sardinian recipe in a north Leeds suburb by Mario Olianas, was named Best Semi-Soft Cheese.
Not to be confused with the long-established British Cheese Awards – now run by the Bath & West Show – the GBCAs were set up this year by online recipe publisher Great British Chefs and premium crispbread brand Peter’s Yard, focusing on “artisan” cheeses.
Over 7,500 consumers voted for their favourite producers and retailers before the major category winners were chosen by a panel including restaurateur Brian Turner, writer and Great Taste judge Felicity Spector, dairy technologist Paul Thomas and Fine Food Digest cheese correspondent Patrick McGuigan.
Barkham Blue, from Two Hoots Cheese, was Best Blue; Moody’s goats’ milk Rosary Ash was Best Fresh; and the recently launched washed-rind Rollright, made by David Jowett and Antony Curnow at King Stone Dairy, was Best Soft Cheese.
Lancashire cheesemaker Mrs Kirkham’s was the winner of the top Artisan Producer trophy, while Cornish Blue, from Philip Stansfield’s Cornish Cheese Co, took the People’s Choice title.
Devon cheesemonger Country Cheeses, whose shops in Tavistock, Topsham and Totnes sell around 100 British varieties, was named Best Retailer.