International Cheese & Dairy Awards 2019 – Success!
We are so proud to have received a number of awards at the International Cheese & Dairy Awards held this week. Unfortunately, the extreme weather took its toll and the Nantwich Show had to be cancelled, but the second day of the ICDA and judging went ahead.
Mrs. Otter Vale has long been a fan of cheese, particularly since cutting her teeth as a vet in specialist dairy practice in Somerset, where a lot of the big cheeses (groan) in cheese making are based. Having successfully completed her Academy of Cheese Level One earlier this year she’s all signed up for Level Two, and telling Mr. Otter Vale that it’s all for work. And what a job it is!
So this year, we decided to enter some products for the ICDA. The judging clashed with a pre-booked trip home to Ireland with the Otter Babies, so she missed out on getting to see the judging first-hand, but there’s always next year.
We’re so pleased that some of our favourites brought home prizes. Our Pear & Ginger Chutney won the Gold in the “blue cheese accompaniment” class, whilst Devon Fire fans will be delighted to know that it was rewarded with Gold in the “any other cheese accompaniment” category.
Otter Vale’s Apple & Westcountry Cider Chutney is used in many a ploughman’s lunch locally, and won the Silver in the “hard cheese accompaniment” competition. Made with local cider, from apples grown at Four Elms Fruit Farm along the Otter Vale, this has been a firm favourite in our area for many decades, and it’s great that this has been recognised with another award, since winning a star at the 2013 Great Taste Awards.
Mrs. Otter Vale is particularly pleased that our Apricot Chutney won Silver in the “soft cheese accompaniment” class, as it’s a bit of a sneaky favourite. Not just for the cold meats!
Another of her favourites is our fresh and zingy Gooseberry & Elderflower Chutney, which she loves with a local goats’ cheese. This one won Very Highly Commended in the “any other cheese accompaniment” section. It’s also brilliant with mackerel!
Finally, one of Granny Otter Vale’s most recent addition to the range, Red Onion Marmalade, won Very Highly Commended in the “any other cheese accompaniment” AND in the “hard cheese accompaniment” classes, to sit alongside its 2019 Taste of the West Commended.
A big thank you to those judges who tried and enjoyed our selection of products. We’ve got some more to add if the entry classes expand next year to include our savoury jellies, so fingers crossed! As ever, it’s lovely to win awards and achieve that recognition. However, we try not to get too carried away by them, as we’re very aware of the vagaries of personal taste, even by the experts. So we hark back to Granny’s wise words – the best award is the reward we get when people enjoy eating what we enjoy making. Thank YOU!