What does it take to be a cheese judge?

Lynher Dairies owner Catherine Mead knows the answer to that often asked question, having judged at both national and international level. ¬†Soon to take over as chair of the Specialist Cheese Association, Catherine’s knowledge of the many different cheesemaking processes is extensive – and her nose for a great cheese is spot on!

May and June sees the British Cheese Awards, held in Somerset, so Catherine will be away from the dairy for a few days, cutting, smelling, tasting and admiring many of the different cheeses from the one thousand entries that come in from all over the country.

“Taste, texture, aroma and appearance are four good places to start when it comes to considering a good cheese,” she explains. “A great artisan cheese has to tick all boxes. Flavour is obvious, but texture plays an important part in the enjoyment. Smell too – in some cases, the smellier the better. And not all cheeses are breathtakingly pretty, but for us, a naturally occurring mould is a beautiful thing!”

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