The Co-operative Food’s cheese range scooped a clutch of Gold awards and accolades at the world’s biggest cheese and dairy awards.
The community retailer and its cheese suppliers beat off stiff competition from retailers and producers from around the world to pick up nine Gold awards at the historic International Cheese Awards 2013 at the Nantwich Show in Cheshire last week, which attracted 4,286 entries with competitors from 27 countries worldwide.
The Co-operative’s premium Truly Irresistible cheese range was a big success at the awards, picking up six Gold medals. The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Appenzeller was voted the best Continental Speciality Cheese Produced in Switzerland. Made from the canton of Appenzeller, near the Austrian border, the cheese has a delightful smooth texture, and a fruity tang that comes from the unique blend of wine and spices in which it is washed.
Another Gold winner was the retailer’s Truly Irresistible Belton Farmhouse Cheddar, which also picked up the trophy for the best Belton Cheese Trophy Champion Creamery Territorial. Handmade for The Co-operative by the award-winning Belton Farm Creamery, the crumbly Cheddar cheese has a special flavour resulting from nearby salt deposits permeating local pasturelands.
The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Hawes Wensleydale, aged for seven months for a crumbly texture and its deep, mature honeyed aftertaste, also scooped Gold and the Belton trophy for the Best Crumbly Territorials.
And, for the second year running, The Co-operative’s classic own-brand Cheshire Cheese and its Soft Natural Somerset Goats’ Cheese both picked up Gold awards.
Several other own-brand cheeses were also recognised with Silver and Bronze awards, making a total medal haul of 13 awards for the convenience retailer.
The Co-operative’s cheese buyer, Mark Cloudy, said: “We are passionate about providing delicious, great-value cheeses, and search all over the world to find the absolute best for our customers’ cheeseboards, from family-run farms in Somerset, to the mountains in Switzerland. We take great pride in our exciting cheese range, and it’s wonderful to have our efforts recognised with these awards.”