November Competition – Win a Hamper from Dewlay Cheesemakers to Celebrate Lancashire Day

I hate to mention the dreaded C-word, but Christmas is looming just over the horizon and, as ever, presents us with an excellent excuse to eat more cheese. Better still, it’s still November, meaning that a/ there’s still loads of time for Christmas shopping and b/ it’s almost time to celebrate Lancashire Day – an excellent excuse to eat more cheese. Read on to find out how to embrace both occasions with this month’s lovely prize from Dewlay Cheesemakers.

Award-winning Lancashire Cheeses

Dewlay Cheesemakers was founded back in 1957 by George Kenyon, whose grandsons Nick and Richard still run the business today from its home on the outskirts of Garstang in Lancashire. As third generation cheesemakers, the Kenyon boys are keen to keep alive the traditional methods used by their father and grandfather - all of their Lancashire cheese is produced using fresh pasteurised milk sourced directly from farms located within a 6 mile radius of the Dewlay dairy, and uses their own unique starter culture developed on site more than 40 years ago.

Lancashire Cheese – so good they named it thrice!

They also remain true to their Lancashire roots by producing a whole range of this most proudly local of cheeses. There are actually three main types of Lancashire cheese – thanks to Dewlay for talking us through them…

Creamy Lancashire is unique among English cheeses, in that it’s made to a multi-day curd recipe. What this means is that the curd produced from day one’s production is mixed with the curd from day two and so on. The result is a deliciously creamy and buttery cheese with a much more open texture than you’ll find with most hard cheeses. The recipe originated out of the historical characteristic that most Lancashire cheesemakers didn’t have sufficient quantities of milk available from their often small dairy farms to make it feasible to make cheese every single day, and rather than store milk over many days, they began instead to convert milk into cheese curd each day, and then would mix a number of days’ curd together. This method was standardised by a now famous Lancastrian by the name of Joseph Gornall in the late 1800s and to this day his methods are used – albeit on a more modern scale – to make Traditional Lancashire cheese. In fact, most cheese enthusiasts know Mr. Gornall by his more popular nickname “Mr Cheese”! Creamy Lancashire is typically matured for up to 12 weeks during which time it develops its unique creamy, buttery and “open” texture.

Tasty Lancashire cheese is made in much the same way as Creamy Lancashire cheese; however the maturing process is much longer (up to and sometimes beyond 12 months). During this longer maturing period, the cheese develops a more complex – slightly tangy – well rounded profile with a lasting taste yet retaining the smooth and creamy texture that its younger Creamy Lancashire has become so well known for and while the cheese is full flavoured, it is never overpowering.

Crumbly Lancashire Though arguably the best known cheese in the Lancashire family, particularly outside of Lancashire, Crumbly Lancashire is, for want of a better term - “the odd one out” in the Lancashire family being the only Lancashire cheese variant that is produced both inside and outside the county under the name “Lancashire”. In fact the cheese has only been produced in Lancashire for the past few decades, unlike Creamy and Tasty Lancashire whose heritage stretches back hundreds of years. It is made with the curd from one day’s production, and sold as a very young cheese – typically under 6 weeks old.

Unlike the Creamy and Tasty Lancashire varieties, it tends not to improve with age and earns its bright white colour and lactic, acidic, fresh taste because of its own unique recipe. In fact, some cheese experts refer to Crumbly Lancashire as “Acid Lancashire” or alternatively “New Lancashire”.

Enter our November Competition with Dewlay Cheesemakers

If you’d like the opportunity to celebrate both Christmas and Lancashire Day in one fell swoop (and why wouldn’t you), then this month’s prize is for you. Dewlay have generously given us a Christmas hamper stuffed with goodies including pickle, crackers, beer and – of course – a selection from their range of delicious Lancashire cheeses. If you’re not lucky enough to win, the full range of Christmas hampers will soon be up on the Dewlay website, and orders can be placed by phone for overnight courier delivery anywhere in the UK. Dewlay cheese can also be purchased from most major supermarkets as well as a number of independent stockists.

To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize, keep an eye on our Twitter feed (@iCheeseAwards) for one of the special competition tweets over the coming week, then simply retweet and make sure you’re following both us and @DewlayCheese. Winner will be drawn at random at 8pm on Sunday 22nd November so that the prize will arrive in time for Lancashire Day on the 27th - UK residents over the age of 18 only please. Good luck everyone!