THE Coolea Farmhouse Cheese company in the Muscrai Gaeltacht in west Cork won two top awards at the British Cheese Awards last weekend.
Coolea Vintage won the Eugene Burns Trophy for the Best Irish Cheese, sponsored by Bord Bia, and the Best Modern British Cheese Award sponsored by Cheese Cellar.
Coolea cheese is made on the farm of Dick Willems at Cuil Aodha, and their vintage cheese was chosen as winner from 134 entries in the modern category. Some 903 cheeses were entered in this year’s awards.
“This is a big thing. It’s a fantastic success. There were over 900 cheeses there from the British Isles,” Dick Willems said.
“It is important for Ireland, for exports of Irish farmhouse cheese products, and it shows how good the products are and that they are recognised. It is very important especially in a time of recession that our products are coming over here and that you can export,” he said.
The awards were presented last weekend at a dinner party in the national museum in Cardiff.
The British Cheese Festival had brought a record 9,000 visitors to the Welsh capital.
There was a top award also for Wexford Creamery’s Rich & Mature, winning the Best Creamery Cheese section, sponsored by Danisco [UK] Ltd. Wexford Creamery also enjoyed much success in this year’s Nantwich International Cheese Show and the Royal Welsh Cheese and Dairy Show.
There were many medal winners among the 60 British Cheese Awards entries from Ireland. Gold medals went to Coolea Farmhouse and to other Co Cork cheesemakers Durrus Farmhouse and Carrigaline Farmhouse; to Wexford Creamery, Wicklow Farmhouse and Gleann Gabhra, Co Meath.
Silver medals went to Mossfield Organic Farm, Co Offaly; Milleens Cheese Ltd and Ardsallagh Goats Products, Co Cork; Wexford Creamery; Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese Co; Killeen Farmhouse Cheese, Co Galway; Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese, Co Kilkenny; and St Tola, Co Clare.
Bronze medals went to Coolattin Cheese, Co Wicklow; Moon Shine Organic Dairy Farm, Co Westmeath; Ardsallagh; Mossfield; Wexford Creamery; Wicklow Farmhouse; Killeen Farmhouse; and Knockdrinna Farmhouse.
Golden Cenarth from cheese-makers Caws Cenarth in Wales was voted Supreme Champion of the 2010 British Cheese Awards.
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