rory-stoneOne of Scotland’s smallest cheese makers has hammered its English, Welsh and Irish rivals to win the “Grand Slam” of UK-wide Cheese Awards.

Strathdon Blue from Highland Fine Cheeses, a tiny producer based on a farm in Tain, has beaten some of the country’s biggest names to win “Best Home International UK” at this year’s Nantwich Cheese Festival.

More than a hundred years old, the Nantwich International Cheese Show is heralded as the ‘Greatest and Biggest Cheese Festival in the World’. With over 300 award categories and hundreds of entries for each, Highland Fine Cheeses emerged as the “big cheese” of the event winning the Best Scottish Cheese award before going on to win the overall UK prize.

Rory Stone, owner of Highland Fine Cheeses, says: “We were amazed to win the Scottish heat, having never achieved any recognition before at this show. We were more than a little daunted when we realised our competitors for the UK title included Dairy Crest and The Cheese Company. These guys make the same amount of cheese in a week as we make in a year and probably employ more lavatory cleaners than we have cheese makers.”

“Strathdon Blue was not crafted to rip out your tongue and beat you about the head; it’s an accessible blue with long, spicy deep flavours, and this was clearly what tickled the tastebuds of the judges.

“We’ve been pushing the parameters of mediocrity for decades, but our blues are really starting to work so it’s fantastic to have this recognition for something we have dedicated ourselves to and hope that we can use this to drive sales throughout the UK.”

Highland Fine Cheeses is historically famous for its Caboc cheese which it has been producing for more than 50 years. However, more recently, it has hit the headlines for producing Blue Monday – the gorgonzola type cheese assigned by Blur’s Alex James and one of the world’s leading authorities on cheese – Juliet Harbutt.

Highland Farm Cheeses

Tel: 01862 892034

www.scotlandfoodanddrink.org

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