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Question

I am looking forward to entering this year’s Cheese Awards. As an amateur home cheese maker can you define more clearly what the following categories mean please. ‘Fresh Cheese’? Using Katie Thear’s book, ‘Cheesemaking and Dairying’, would a Caerphilly cheese be in the ‘Semi-Soft’ category and the Lancashire cheese in the ‘Hard Cheese’ category? Also, what happens to the cheese after they have been judged. Are they disposed of or can they be returned? I would have to post my entries to you. Do you accept items sent by Royal Mail Special delivery? From Keith

Answer

‘Fresh Cheese’ is cheese which is made and eaten without any ripening, usually within a few days of making, and kept in the fridge at low temperature until eaten. ‘Semi-Soft’ are generally at the firm end of soft, things like Port Salut. Caerphilly and Lancashire, under this classification are both hard cheeses. They sometimes are called ‘Semi-Soft’ but let’s not go down that route, makes things far too complicated. It’s not worth returning fresh cheese and by the time your entries have been thoroughly ironed, and in bits, returning them isn’t really viable. Sorry. Actually, most of the entries last year arrived by ‘Standard’ first or second class Royal Mail.

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