Being a rosy cheeked, farm loving girl I’m no stranger to the joys of an agricultural show. I’ve been to a fair few of them across the UK and I always enjoy the judging of the farm animals, the WI tents, the cookery demonstrations and the sheep dogs herding ducks around an obstacle course. Of course, here in Cheshire we do things differently. Today I’m at the Nantwich Show and I’m enjoying the hubbub, tastes, smells and cheesy atmosphere of the International Cheese Awards.
This year is the 117th annual cheese awards and this dairy based festival of cheese is the biggest cheese show in the world. As I sit in the press tent typing this, 200 expert judges are sampling 4,443 entries across all the delicious categories. I had a quick tour before judging began, there is quite a bit of cheese here.
It’s an amazing show, today is trade day, but tomorrow (Wednesday) the cheese pavilion will throw open its doors to the public, so if you’re visiting the Nantwich Show then it’s well worth taking a turn around the pavilion. There are literally thousands of cheeses to try from 26 countries.
There are cheeses to suit all palates. My small boy would love the Bel cheese stand, they make Babybel, Laughing Cow and Boursin cheese (I adore Boursin). Next door were Billy Bear, famous for their teddy bear face shaped meat slices, they’re launching a cheddar cheese face in October. It’s such a fun stand and the Billy Bear people are so lovely, if you’re taking your little one it’s well worth visiting for a balloon and a photo with Billy himself.
I laid waste to the Isle of Man Creamery stand, falling head over heels in love with their cracked black pepper cheddar. Wyke Farms are offering a bargain cheese bundle of a range of their cheeses, plus butter and a cool bag for £10, that’s a cheesy bargain and great for families to plough through block after block of cheddar cheeses.
I then stumbled across Orsom Cheese, made a few miles away from the show ground, they make a range of four beautiful, soft handmade cheeses, vintage, soft, smoked, and blue. They’re mainly available in farm shops, but they’re well worth searching out.
There are literally thousands of cheeses I’ve not managed to get round to try yet, but rest assured I will do my best. If you’re coming along to the Nantwich Show on Wednesday 30th July, then your ticket will gain you entry to the pavilion. If you manage to time it just right you might be able to catch one of the celebrity chef demonstrations including the likes of James Martin, Will Holland, Sean Wilson and Jonathan Harrison.