Cheese makers from around the world descended on Cheshire this week for the International Cheese Awards. More than 200 expert judges sampled 5000 different cheeses from around the world at the event, which first began back in 1897. James Martin, the new face of Asda, was on the panel along with former Coronation Street actor turned cheese maker Sean Wilson.
Asda was also commended for maintaining high quality across the board, from snacking cheeses for children's lunch boxes to more innovative and complex deep flavours
Supreme Champion and winner of the Westminster Cup 2016 was Treur Kaas for their aged Jerseyhoeve Schorren. Asda won no less than 10 Trophy Awards, including Healthy Cheese Retailer of the Year and prizes for their Cheshire, Lancashire, Stilton and Parmigiano Reggiano. We were also crowned winner in processed cheese, butter, single cream and natural, berry flavoured and stone fruit yogurts. In the Retailer Awards, Asda scooped eight Golds, nine Silvers and three Highly Commended.
The judging panel praised our mature Red Fox cheese saying: "This stood out in this class for its toffee caramelly flavour and balances well with the texture."
The German Smoked Cheese won a Gold for the 'Processed Cheese - any type' award and was described as: "Good smoked flavour, well balanced, good texture and appearance."
The Extra Special Parmigiana Reggiano won Gold for the 'Parmigiano Reggiano made with unpasteurised milk' award and was said to have: "Good taste and nice flavour."
Meanwhile the judges said of the Extra Special Butlers Tasty, which won 'Crumbly Territorial - Traditional Round - Lancashire': "Good texture, nice flavour."
Speaking about Asda's entries, judge and Global Cheese Expert Bob Savage said: "I would agree there has been a real focus on quality. The traditional territorial cheeses, the crumblies like the Cheshires have done remarkably well. It's quite an art to select one that will withstand the packing process and still retain their taste and texture."
Asda was also commended for maintaining high quality across the board, from snacking cheeses for children's lunch boxes to more innovative and complex deep flavours. Mr Savage added: "Some of the soft continental cheeses were really good such as the Brie and Camembert types. On the whole, supermarkets have been very innovative in bringing new cheeses to market." Rob Hartley, Quality Account Manager for Arla who supply Asda's dairy produce, added: "We're really proud of the whole Asda range. While many of the processes we use are traditional, we are constantly tweaking recipes to keep them consistent and improve flavour."
Ultimately, it's the passion of the cheese makers that creates award winning cheeses. Graham Nicholl, UK Product Quality Control Manager explained: "Many of the farmers, graders and cheese makers have been in the dairy industry for several generations. Asda prides themselves on supporting British farmers who are passionate and dedicated to making high quality produce."
Pick up an award winning cheese at Asda.com