The sun rose over the hills surrounding the farm like any other Wednesday, but the dairy felt quieter than usual. Of course, that was mostly due to the the Butler family, staff included, being at The Nantwich Show.
The Nantwich Show, home of the International Cheese Awards is one of the most important dates in our calendar. Little did we know that this year was set to be our most exciting visit yet...
First off, James Martin (the lovely chap off Saturday Kitchen) chose our very own Trotter Hill Lancashire as his favourite of all the cheeses he tried at the show and as a result we were awarded the coveted Cheese Lovers Trophy. A recipe that has passed down through 4 generations, the recipe that started what is now Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses, still winning awards 85 years on!
Owner, Gill Hall, admits to Trotter Hill Tasty Lancashire as being closest to her heart, as it was the first cheese she made at age nine after school in the farmhouse dairy and claims it to be her favourite of all that Butler's has to offer. The win is a very exciting prospect as she personally believes that Trotter Hill, and Tasty Lancashire cheese on the whole, has so much more potential to be explored.
Farmhouse Tasty Lancashire, for those who haven’t had the opportunity to try it, is a very versatile cheese that carries a similar flavour punch to cheddar, but with beautiful melting qualities.
We were delighted to receive awards in all 3 of our cheese categories, hard, soft and blue. This meant that we finished up with a stall full of trophies and grins as cheesy as the produce on it!
Blacksticks Blue pushed boundaries again with crowds gathering to try our show exclusive Blacksticks Blue Chocolate Truffles, created by our local Willy Wonka, Choc Amor. Ears pricked up and people came running when they heard there was chocolate on offer... in the cheese tent of all places. Although some took a little bit of convincing once they found out it was Blacksticks Blue flavour, on the whole people absolutely loved the sweet and savoury combination!
Matthew described the Blacksticks Blue truffles as: ‘an easier entry into blue cheese for a lot of people. Sweet flavours are very popular at the moment and the dark chocolate pairs with Blacksticks Blue beautifully as it gives a nice sweet balance to the tang of the blue.’
If you are reading this feeling as though you missed out and would like a try for yourself, simply take some dark chocolate and smash it up with a sprinkling of crumbled Blacksticks Blue. Wash it down with a glass of port for good measure! Perfect for pleasantly surprising guests at your next dinner party!
We invite cheese lovers far and wide to be bold and challenge your taste buds in experimenting with Blacksticks Blue in recipes that on the surface might not seem an obvious fit. Blacksticks Blue is all-embracing, you may be surprised by the possibilities, from stirring into soup to mashing into spuds, as happy sitting side of plate complimenting a grilled steak as it is taking centre stage on a cheese board, the only limit is your imagination.
Nantwich Show gets bigger and bigger every year, with 2017 featuring over 5,500 cheeses on show from over 30 different countries. Britain is ever increasing its presence in the global cheese market with recent creations proving that going continental is not the only way to discover exciting flavours and textures.
Button Mill, the latest addition to the Butler's family, is a great example of this, a delightfully soft cheese similar to camembert but without the air miles.
Our Inglewhite Sweet & Nutty Goats cheese picked up the winning trophy for Best Modern British Cheese, a beautifully white, fresh and clean goats cheese with a sweet and nutty taste and a light, semi-firm texture. Proof again that the British cheese palette is becoming increasingly sophisticated and adventurous.
Nantwich Show proved a definite cause for celebration not only on successes to date but also for the rousing possibilities that lie ahead. For now, we celebrated in the best way we know how; all of the family at the dairy for a bbq with burgers and cider.