After a two year hiatus, we were not sure how many entries to expect in the Cheese and Dairy Section, however we were thrilled with the 90 entries received – up by one third on the previous number of entries.
Our Australian Cheese Expert and Judge Carole Willman travelled to be with us again to assess every entry at the open judging on the Friday morning. Carole said she continues to be impressed the quality of products created by the people of our local area – and wanted to know when all of the entrants would be getting together as a collective to make their products commercially!
The judging started with butters, then moved to yoghurts to get Carole’s tastebuds ready for the cheeses. The fresh unripened cheeses included Feta, Haloumi, Chabichou and an ashed Chevre, while the marinated cheeses had a focus on Labneh and Feta, with flavourings ranging from lemon-based to garlic and chillies.
White mould cheeses included Brie and Camembert and a goat’s milk Saint Maure. And amongst the firmer cheeses were Caerphilly, Comte, Red Leicester, Cheddar, Cotswold, Havarti and Pepato.
The smelliest and strongest cheeses are saved for last, including washed rind cheeses. The blue mould cheeses included Stilton-style, Roquefort-style and creamy blues of varying intensity.
After six hours of tasting every product, Carole declared she had a Champion Cheese! The winner of the Carole Willman Perpetual Trophy Champion Cheese was Pam Swinfield, with her blue mould cheese Forme D’Ambert, with the Most Successful Exhibitor, sponsored by the Kangaroo Valley Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, being Rosie Johnson.
Congratulations to all the winners – and particularly to every person who provided an entry, including our junior entrants. We look forward to welcoming your homemade creations next year.
Want to learn how to make your own cheese and dairy products?
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Kathy and Rosie