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French v Yorkshire Cheesemakers - Head to head at the Great Yorkshire Show

Nine year old Hannah Sykes from Otley cheese tasting at the 2013 Great Yorkshire Show

Nine year old Hannah Sykes from Otley cheese tasting at the 2013 Great Yorkshire Show

Organisers of this month’s Great Yorkshire Show are getting into the spirit of the world’s biggest cycling event by staging their own homage to Le Tour de France.

Cheese makers from France and Yorkshire are being invited to compete in a fun new class at the 156th Great Yorkshire Show, which runs from Tuesday 8 to Thursday 10 July.

In recognition of Le Grand Depart’s historic two days in the county, for the first time judges at the Great Yorkshire Cheese and Dairy Show will be asked to choose the best French or Yorkshire-produced cheese.

Judy Bell, chief steward for the Cheese and Dairy Show explained: “In celebration of this year’s Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire, we are inviting French and Yorkshire cheesemakers to go ‘wheel to wheel’ in search of the ultimate cheese. This is obviously very topical and we’ve attracted a good number of entries. We hope it will be a new, fun element to the show which everyone will enjoy,” she added.

The new class is one of almost 150 classes in the popular section, which has attracted entries from across the UK and Europe including Greece, Spain, France, Italy and Holland. Held for the first time in 2002, the section has grown in popularity over the years, and now attracts around 800 entries.

Competitors all have their eye on the show’s ultimate accolade – the chance to scoop the Supreme Champion Dairy Product trophy and rosette – plus a number of other prestigious prizes which are available. These include trophies for Best Ice Cream, Best Yoghurt, Best Milk and Best Dressed Dairy Product amongst others.

As well as the nod to Le Tour, for the first time since the section was re-launched, visitors will be able to watch the cheese and dairy judges in action. Judging will take place on the first day of England’s premier agricultural show, with the trophies awarded on Wednesday 9 July.

“I hope that the show visitors will find seeing the judges at work very interesting. Obviously it is a very serious job, and the public won’t be able to approach the judges during their deliberations, but I am hoping that they will be able to share their knowledge and interact a little during the process,” said Mrs Bell.

The Cheese and Dairy Show is not just about expert judges – the event also offers visitors the opportunity to test their taste buds on cheese and ice cream in the popular Consumer Choice classes.

Would-be judges will be given advice on how to spot a good cheese and ice cream/chilled product, and then asked to make their selection, with prizes awarded to the winners.

The Consumers’ Choice Cheese classes take place on Wednesday 9 July between 1pm and 3pm, and the Ice Cream and Chilled Products classes are planned for Thursday 10 July between 10am and 12 noon.

And at the end of the three days, many of the winning cheeses will go under the hammer at the Big Cheese Auction with visitors offered the chance to take home a 20kg reminder of their day at the show.

 

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