Cheese earns award for Northumberland dairy company

Doddington's Darling Blue Cheese
Doddington's Darling Blue Cheese

Doddington Dairy has been awarded best new cheese at a prestigious award ceremony for its blue variety, Darling Blue.

Named in memory of local heroine Grace Darling, it is the first pasteurised cheese produced by the Northumbrian based dairy.

It took the prize at the British Cheese Awards at the Royal Bath and West Showground.

Margaret Anne Maxwell, cheese maker, said: “We’ve been designing and testing Darling Blue for a number of years, and are very pleased with the reactions of everyone who has trialled it.

“When we were looking for a name, we wanted to emphasise its youthful character and its strong connections with Northumberland.

“Grace Darling is many people’s idea of an ideal heroine, and we are pleased to honour her in our cheese.”

The award comes hot on the heels of Doddington’s success at the BBC Food and Farming Awards where it won best food producer.

Margaret Anne admitted: “It’s been a brilliant few weeks for Doddington Dairy and I’m especially proud that Darling Blue won such a prestigious award.

“It’s a different approach to cheese for us, and its wonderful for it to get such a positive reaction.”

Doddington Dairy hand-crafts cheese from its own milk.

Normally using raw milk and rennet, it creates and matures its cheeses in the stone barns of its own farm buildings.

Made from pasteurised milk, Darling Blue is not only its first blue cheese but also the first cheese it has launched for seven years.

Other varieties include Doddington, Berwick Edge, Cuddy’s Cave, Admiral Collingwood and Baltic.

The British Cheese Awards, now in their 22nd year, represent the pinnacle of achievement in the industry.

The awards ran for four days, during which 15,000 people visited the Royal Bath and West Showground.

Darling Blue is now available in restaurants, delicatessen and speciality food shops across the north east. Further information and details of stockists can be found on www.doddingtondairy.co.uk

In May, Doddington Dairy was named Best Food Producer, the first time a Northumberland company has won one of the annual national awards.

The prize was presented to Neill and Jackie Maxwell by one of the judges, Cyrus Todiwala, chef proprietor of Café Spice Namaste and celebrity television chef, at a ceremony in Bristol.

The Maxwells, who farm at Doddington, near Wooler, launched Doddington Cheese to add value to their milk 21 years ago. They were one of a very few companies in the UK producing hand-crafted, unpasteurised cheeses.

When they launched Doddington Dairy Ice Cream in 2000, they were the only farm-based ice cream producer between Aberdeenshire and York.