Summer’s here. And that can only mean one thing; Cheese Shows. They come in all shapes and sizes, they range from local to national, and they can be tagged onto other events such as agricultural shows or they can stand alone as events all on their own. The evidence is all over the place that cheese really is big business.
You’ll always find a buzz around the farm when competition time rolls around; in fact, you’ll find the same buzz around most cheese producers during show season when it’s time to put your best produce out there for the world to see (and judge, gulp). We at Keen’s enter a number of shows, and if you sneak a peek at our awards page you’ll see we don’t do too badly. Fingers crossed 2013 brings us a bounty of trophies, awards, recognitions and ribbons to follow suit.
Of course, we can’t molly coddle our cheese enough throughout the year but now is the time a couple of our lucky samples are taken off the shelf and dressed to impress….. Literally! Traditionally truckles entered into show have been ‘dressed’ and a lot of the main shows still request that competition entries are still dressed for show; But how do you dress a cheese I hear you cry.
Firstly, the cloth that the truckle has been maturing inside is carefully peeled away exposing its rind. This is then painstakingly cleaned using a sharp blade to bring out its best side. Once it is all sparkly clean a plastic coat is applied evenly all over to prevent the cheese from drying out and finally a white cotton band is carefully placed around the truckle to complete its pampering preparation.
The white cotton bands were actually once used to keep the cheese in shape, but cheese making has now advanced so
it isn’t essential anymore, however it’s still nice to keep with traditions and as a side it also helps to disguise any blemishes on the cheese surface…. Even Miss World wears foundation you know!Anyway, that’s how we prepare the chosen truckles. In part 2 we’ll impart some of the knowledge we have gained over the years about showing cheese, and speak to a guy who’s been judging at cheese shows for over 30 years who will give you some sound advice about entering your first show.