The Co-operative Food has collected a number of awards for its own brand cheeses and dairy products at the prestigious International Cheese Awards 2012, held annually in Nantwich, Cheshire.
The recently-introduced Truly Irresistible Picante Gorgonzola from the retailer’s premium range was given a Gold medal, and was also awarded a trophy for the Best Blue Veined Cheese Produced Outside of the UK.
Produced for The Co-operative at the Igor creamery near Milan, Italy, this blue veined cheese is claimed to have a distinctive sharp and tangy flavour that makes it a perfect partner for fruit or hearty red wines.
Another Gold medal and trophy winner was The Co-operative Goats’ Cheese. This was voted Best Speciality Cheese in the UK.
The Co-operative’s Stilton was presented with a Silver in the Best Blue Veined Cheese Produced in the UK category, and the retailer’s own-brand soft natural cheese also picked up a Silver.
As well as entering the awards, The Co-operative took part in the event by hosting an interactive cheese stand, allowing enthusiasts and aficionados to sample a selection of cheeses.
Chef, Rob Morris, demonstrated his culinary skills, showing visitors how to make dishes such as Gruyére Fondue with Garlic Croutons, Broad Bean and Runner Bean Risotto with Gruyére, and Strawberry and Pimm’s Cheesecake.
The retailer also provided all the ingredients for several celebrity chef demonstrations, where crowds were entertained by James Martin, Jean-Christophe Novelli and Gino D’Acampo.
The Nantwich Show, which hosts the awards, was founded in 1897 and is one of the oldest and most traditional cheese events in the world.
Mark Cloudy, category buyer for Cheese at The Co-operative, said: “We are passionate about providing a tasty, great-value and varied own-brand cheese range for our shoppers, and these fantastic awards recognise these efforts.”