Cornish dairy wins best cheese in Britain award
Westcountry cheesemakers have triumphed once again at the British Cheese Awards, winning top accolades for their products.
The 20th annual Oscars of the dairy world saw Lynher Dairies, the makers of Cornish Yarg, named Best English Cheese for their latest variety.
The Stithians Special is named after the village in Cornwall close to the dairy – but even after beating more than 900 cheeses to win the award, it won't be going on sale until next year.
Dairy manager Dane Hopkins said that it was entered into the competition to gauge the opinions of the judges on its development.
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He said the award was "good stuff" for a cheese that had "real depth of flavour".
"It's a long-matured cheese, matured for between 12 and 18 months. It's based on a traditional farmhouse Dutch recipe, with some tweaks," he added.
The judges described Stithians as "hard, deep sunshine-yellow and packs a powerful punch".
"Its complex flavour reflects the superb grazing they provide their Friesian herd of cows," they added.
The producer was also voted the UK's favourite local producer at the Great Taste Awards.
Catherine Mead said: "Everyone at the dairy is so delighted to have won two such gratifying accolades. We try endlessly hard to produce wonderful cheese, so it's lovely to know we're doing something right!"
Their flagship product, Cornish Yarg, won Best English Cheese at the International Cheese Show in 2012.
There was also British Cheese Awards success in Dorset where Woolsery Cheese's Camembert-style soft cheese named Woolsery Nanette won the country's best goats cheese.
Cheesemaker Annette Lee wrote on Twitter that she was "thrilled to bits" with the accolade.
Another victor was Arla Foods Taw Valley Creamery in North Tawton – winner Best Creamery Cheese for its Mild Cheddar II.
The British Cheese Awards was launched in 1994 to mark the start of British Cheese Week, which this year runs until September 15.
Entries included over 221 raw milk cheeses, 117 organic, 83 blue, nearly 200 unique goat and ewe's milk cheeses from tiny buttons to huge 20kg wheels.
The judges narrowed the field to a list of 60 gold medal winners which were then re-judged to determine the 20 award winners, representing the nation's finest cheeseboard.