Yorkshire cheesemaker’s blue cheese ranked one of the best in the world

Yorkshire cheesemaker’s blue cheese ranked one of the best in the world

Shepherd’s Purse earnt a three-star rating at the ‘food and drink Oscars’ for its Mrs Bell’s Blue cheese

A Yorkshire cheesemaker has added yet another award to its trophy cabinet by becoming one of the only British blue cheeses to win a coveted three stars at the Great Taste Awards 2023.

Mrs Bell’s Blue cheese was one of only 10 British cheeses to win 3 stars at the prestigious awards, which is dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the food and drink world, beating off 14,000 other products from 100 countries.

Mrs Bells Blue is a rich complex ewe’s milk blue cheese which contrasts with a delicate meadowy sweetness with salty blue flavours. It is handmade and matured for a minimum of 10 weeks and is sold in good independent cheese shops, farm shops, Booths and Waitrose. It was launched in 1997, it has become one of Shepherd’s Purses most awarded cheeses having also won Gold at the World Cheese Awards 2019 and Champion Ewe’s Cheese at the 2022 International Cheese & Dairy Awards.

Caroline Bell, joint managing director of Shepherd’s Purse cheese said: “We’re completely blown away to win three stars for Mrs Bells Blue at the Great Taste Awards. They announced the results on Yorkshire Day which felt very apt. We put a lot of love and passion into our cheeses which are all made by hand, so it’s amazing to have this hard work recognised.”

Shepherd’s Purse, based in Thirsk North Yorkshire, is an independent family-owned dairy which makes cheese in the traditional way. It was established by Judy Bell MBE in the 1980s who discovered her passion and talent for cheesemaking and wanted to create quality cheeses as an alternative to cows milk cheese. It now has a range of 10 cheeses which include sheep, cow and even buffalo milk cheeses.

A panel of esteemed food and drink experts judged this year’s Great Taste Awards and they waxed lyrical about Mrs Bell’s Blue calling is a ‘visually stunning cheese’ and a ‘cheese (that) melts in your mouth and takes you on a journey of taste and flavour’. Adding that this is a ‘high quality cheese and clearly the producer has put their heart into creating this cheese.’

The Great Taste Award is the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink accreditation scheme organised by the Guild of Fine Foods. It allows food and drink producers to put their products to the test with a panel of over 500 experts.

Shepherd’s Purse’s Harrogate Blue, which won Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards 2017, was also awarded 1 star at this year’s Great Taste Awards.