Cheese still plays a major role at show
OVER the years Frome Cheese Show has grown in size and diversity yet cheese is still a huge part of the one-day event and as popular as ever.
Thousands of people flocked into the large and airy cheese marquee, which this year exhibited 1,070 cheeses of every conceivable colour, shape and variety from goats, sheep and cows.
Among them there were red Leicester, Wensleydale, stilton, blue vein, brie, crumbly Lancashire, camembert, Cornish yarg, mozzarella, gorgonzola, mascarpone, parmesan, ricotta, feta and, of course, cheddar.
There were cheeses containing beef and horseradish, plums soaked in cider brandy, figs, mango and butterscotch.
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White-coated judges picked Wincanton-based Keen's Cheddar Ltd as the supreme champion and for the first time a Canadian cheese from Glengarry Cheese Making Inc was selected as the global award champion.
Hundreds of cheeses were laid out on long tables but only the judges were allowed to sample them. The crowds obediently obeyed the signs "Do Not Eat the Cheese" displayed throughout the tent but luckily the producers selling their cheese provided an assortment of tastes.
As well as the cheeses, demonstrations were given throughout the day by celebrity chef Ed Baines, a judge of ITV's Britain's Best Dish, who cooked up a series of mouth-watering dishes.
Nether Stowey manufacturers of Cheeky Cow cheese launched its re-packaging on Saturday offering 5p a pack of every cheese sold to the Send A Cow charity, based near Bath.
Among the celebrities spotted in the marquee were Farming Minister and Frome MP David Heath and former Coronation Street star Sean Wilson who played Martin Platt for decades and has now established his own business, Saddleworth Cheese Company.
Frome-based Dairy Crest boasted a table full of cups and rosettes winning awards for its Davidstow and Cathedral City cheeses.
Deputy chief steward Graham Hunneman said: "Our all-time record for cheese entrants has been 1,300 so we are down this year due to the current economic climate and we have noticed less interest from retailers. However, we have more people than ever selling cheese this year."