Blue Shropshire becomes British Cheese Champion of the year

A Blue Shropshire cheese by Cropwell Bishop Creamery won the prestigious supreme championship in the British Cheese Awards at the Royal Bath & West Show last week.

Described as having an exquisite, nutty flavour, shot through with spicy notes, the Blue Shropshire’s delightful taste and creamy texture are matched by its beautiful appearance, with blue veins radiating through a deep-orange body.

Run by the Skailes family in the Vale of Belvoir, the Cropwell Bishop Creamery has been in the family for more than three generations, with every one of their traditionally crafted cheeses proving award-winning over the years.

Taking the reserve champion spot was St Thom – a goats’ cheese by Worcestershire-based Lightwood Cheese. The subtle note of the goats’ milk is said to come through this cheese without detracting from the overall smooth, runny and ripening flavours. An unpasteurised goats brick, St Thom is a lactic cheese made from curd that cools slowly in order to acidify overnight. It is then gently moulded by hand, salted and matured to retain the soft texture.

In the country awards, the Blue Shropshire topped the English category, with Golden Cenarth – a rind washed soft cheese with a springy texture and buttery flavour – from Caws Cenarth claiming the Welsh section. Arla Foods’ Lockerbie Vintage cheddar, which has a smooth, distinctively sweet flavour, won the Scottish medal, while Wicklow Blue – a delicate hand crafted creamy blue cheese made by Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese – claimed the Irish title.

“We are thrilled to have celebrated the British Cheese Awards’ first year under the ownership of the Royal Bath & West Show,” said Head of Shows Alan Lyons. “We attracted nearly 1000 entries from 54 counties covering the length and breadth of the UK.” The competition also had classes for butter, yoghurt and ice cream, with visitors able to view the judging process and see for themselves exactly what goes into choosing a winning cheese.

“In addition, visitors to the show have been treated to a brand new dedicated food and drink area, showcasing some of the UK’s finest producers – there has been plenty to tickle the taste buds,” he added.

  • The Royal Bath and West Show took place from 1-4 June, 2016, at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. For more information visit