| Top Ten Cheeses|
The UK makers we are praising have all won awards for their own cheeses but they don't make a 'song and dance' about it and quietly produce excellent, consistent products. We have split the honours evenly between Britain and France and so our Top Ten is actually two lists a Top Five British cheeses and a Top Five French cheeses. Our favourite cheeses had to fulfil certain criteria; for example, no matter how good a cheese is, if it is unavailable for several months of the year because the maker has not produced enough, then it will not be included in our top five. Cheeses which are too expensive, too mild, too inconsistent in quality, or which contain too much cracking or bruising, also fail to make the grade.In reverse order, then;British Top Five, and the reasons why we have chosen them, are:5th placeDewlay Crumbly Acid Lancashire for its versatility when cooked or eaten plain; for consistency of product; for interesting texture;4th placeDevon Blue for a delicious flavour and good texture; no wastage for the customer because it has no crust;3rd placeCornish Brie; easy to ripen, good flavour, and an excellent size (just under one kilo) for dinner parties;2nd placeDevon Oke for the wonderful smell of its crust, and for its creamy, buttery flavour;WinnerQuickes Cheeses; we do not stock them all, but must award them First Prize for the general quality of their product; for an excellent and consistent mature cheddar and a good strong smoked cheddar;The French Top Five, in reverse order:5th placeFourme dAmbert; a good strong creamy blue; always looks most attractive on a cheese board; 4th placeClarines; soft runny cheese in a small box. Similar to Vacherin (made by the same makers, but all year round);3rd placeDelice de Bourgogne for its sinfully rich texture and flavour; a superb foil to fruit;2nd placeBeaufort for its complex, long-lasting flavour; for its versatility as a dessert cheese and as a special cheese for cooking. WinnerLe Montagnard; always ripens perfectly; wonderful flowing texture; exquisite flavour.The best way, of course, to see if you agree with our comments, is to try our choices yourself!