A Thirsk based family-run cheese company are celebrating after picking up a Super Gold at this year’s World Cheese Awards,
Shepherds Purse Cheeses, run by the Bell family on their farm in Thirsk, were awarded the accolade at the global cheese competition for their Harrogate Blue, which was the first cheese launched by daughters Katie Matten and Caroline Bell after taking over the running of the business from mum and founder Judy Bell in 2012.
The prestigious prize was awarded at the World Cheese Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, which this year celebrated its 30th anniversary and took place at London’s Tobacco Dock as part of a collaboration with Taste of London.
The winning cheese was also included on the top table of the best 16 cheeses at the event from more than 3000 entries.
Named Harrogate Blue after the town which Caroline now calls home, the soft, creamy blue veined cheese, which delivers a mellow blue flavour with a hint of pepper finish, has been a hit from day one, picking up its first award just 2 weeks after its launch, however this award has made the family and the team at Shepherds Purse particularly proud.
Caroline Bell, director, Shepherds Purse Cheeses said: “Katie and I are absolutely thrilled to win Super Gold for Harrogate Blue. I’m so proud of my sister for developing the cheese and it’s been a favourite since it’s launch. It was such an honour to hear the judge’s comments as Harrogate Blue was judged as one of the top 16 cheeses in the world by a panel of esteemed judges.
“To win Super Gold, 3 Golds and a Silver is a tribute to the consistent world-class quality of our handmade cheeses and the passion from our whole team that goes into each and every truckle and wedge that leaves our dairy. We’re also very proud that this is the third consecutive year that one of our cheeses has won a coveted Super Gold award. We are delighted to fly the flag for English cheeses and indeed Yorkshire cheeses on the world stage.”
Shepherds Purse competed against more than 3000 cheeses from 35 countries around the world and was judged by an esteemed panel of 230 judges from across the globe who travelled from 29 different countries to nose, taste and grade the cheese, and commenting that Harrogate Blue was, “exceptional cheese with an incredible lingering taste in the mouth. So much personality, it is an honour to taste this.”
Harrogate Blue wasn’t the only Shepherds Purse winner at the cheese industry’s Oscars, the dairy also picked up two Gold awards for Mrs Bell’s Blue; a Gold for Bluemin White and a Silver for Yorkshire Blue.