Artisan, family cheese makers, Shepherds Purse of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, has scooped a coveted Good Housekeeping Food Award at a star-studded evening in Lancaster Gate, London, jointly winning in the best small cheese producer category alongside Belton Cheese of Shropshire. It’s Buffalo Blue cheese, made with water buffalo milk, was voted the best along with Belton’s Red Fox cheese ““ the judges couldn’t choose between the two. The prestigious award was presented by actress and author Jane Asher and Great British Bake Off favourite, Mary Berry.

Now in its 9th year, the annual Good Housekeeping Food Awards celebrate all that is fabulous about food, drink and cookery, attracting thousands of votes across more than 20 categories from across the UK. The lavish evening, hosted by Jane Asher, was attended by high profile celebrity chefs and top names in food and drink.

Shepherds Purse produces an award-winning range of traditionally hand crafted, premium cheeses made with cow’s, ewe’s and water buffalo milk on the Bell family farm. Buffalo Blue was the first British blue cheese made from buffalo milk. The company uses British water buffalo milk, produced by the herd reared by world expert, Bob Palmer, which guarantees the quality the cheese maker prides itself on. The cheese is made to the same base method as the famous Mrs Bells Blue and Yorkshire Blue, but altered slightly to adapt to the qualities of the buffalo milk, resulting in a beautiful creamy texture, which is clean and refreshing on the palate.

Caroline Bell, director, Shepherds Purse Cheeses said: “It is a real privilege to pick up this award from Good Housekeeping, which recognises the brightest and the best from the world of food and is a great seal of approval from such a well respected and trusted title. We are delighted to be named as joint best small cheese producer with our Buffalo Blue, already a multi award winning cheese, which is well loved by our customers. We congratulate Belton Cheese too, another great farmhouse product.”