Hampshire can now firmly place itself as one of the top cheese-producing regions in the world after Hampshire Fare cheese-makers were winners in the world cheese awards held in Birmingham last week. Competition was very tough with thousands of entries from all over the world. Out of 2,781 cheeses entering the competition from 30 countries, only 50 cheeses are awarded a Super Gold medal but Hampshire Fare Members came away with 2 Cheeses in the top 50 in the world list.
Tunworth Cheese in Basingstoke won a Super Gold Award making it one of the 50 best cheeses in the world. This is the latest accolade for the cheese which has previously been awarded the Supreme Champion British Cheese.
In addition, Jamie Oliver has chosen Tunworth, with four other British cheeses, to go head to head with the best five French cheeses in his new Channel 4 series Food Fight Club which begins on Thursday December 6th at 9pm on Channel 4.
Stacey Hedges, owner of Hampshire Cheeses said: 'I am delighted by this prestigious award. It is a tremendous achievement for such a small company and to be picked by Jamie Oliver to represent Britain against France was fantastic. We had great fun making the programme. It's not every day that you get a congratulatory hug from Jamie Oliver.'
The other Gold Winner from the area was Hampshire Fare Member Barkham Blue which was awarded Best British Cheese. This cheese is produced by Two Hoots Cheese who are a small family business just outside the Hampshire border in Barkham. They make cheese in the traditional way using pasteurised cow's or ewe's milk.
Lyburn's Old Winchester Cheese produced by Mike Smales, farmer and cheese-maker from Landford, was awarded a Bronze Medal. Lyburn Farm lies on the northern edge of the New Forest, in and around the village of Hamptworth. The cheese is made from milk from the farm's own cows. It is not a Cheddar but is a more continental style of hard yellow cheese.
Mike Smales is also a Director of Hampshire Fare: He said ' It is amazing to see Hampshire Cheeses doing so well at the World Cheese Awards and to have two Hampshire Cheeses in the top 50 is a fantastic achievement. It certainly acknowledges the skill and talents of our artisan cheese-makers.'
Hampshire Cheeses are firm favourites at the Hampshire Farmers' Markets, see their web site for 2013 dates of markets in your area.