So, you’d like some advice about entering your cheese into show? No problem at all. We may be old hat at this show business but we also know that not everybody reading this blog are fifth generation cheese makers. Some of you may be newcomers to the business, if that’s you welcome on board the dairy train and read on to find out a little more about entering your produce into show.
While Richard Green of Brue-Valley-Cheddar was with us grading cheese the other day I was lucky enough to ask him if he could impart some of his knowledge about judging so that we could share it with you. He has been judging cheese shows for 36 years so there really isn’t very much he can’t tell you about showing off your cheese.
Firstly, I asked him exactly what it was he and the other independent judges were looking for when judging at an event.
‘Firstly, and most importantly it’s the smell of the cheese, it has to smell right for its class. Then we look at its body and texture, is it smooth enough? Crumbly enough? Should this type of cheese feel grainy? At the same time we are looking at its appearance, considering things like whether or not it should be dipping in the middle or should it have a flat surface, attention to detail is everything here. Last but by far least we are looking for a pleasant taste, it has got to taste nice and not rancid or acidy’.
‘It is essential that you enter the best cheese you’ve got to show.’ was Richard’s response when asked what advice he would offer somebody
entering cheese shows for the first time. ‘it does happen where bad cheeses are entered, sometimes the responsibility for selecting a cheese is passed over to a member of staff who is inexperienced or just not bothered, if you are going to enter only have a trusted person select for you or select yourself. We will always be honest and I have had discreet words with cheese producers in the past who have been thoroughly embarrassed and angry but learnt for future.’
‘Finally, don’t feel intimidated, just take the plunge and enter the show. Many people are discouraged from entering because of the size and the heritage of other entrants, there really is no need. Every single one of your competitors entered for the first time once, they have all lost and won, and the cheese business is probably one of the most friendly businesses you’ll ever come across’.
So there you have it newbies, choose your best product and jump in with both feet. Hope to see you at the World Cheese Awards very soon.