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The British Cheese Awards took place last week, STV's The Hour felt obliged to get involved in the proceedings so decided to have their very own cheese party.
Joining Michelle McManus and Tam Cowan for the cheese extravaganza were Strictly judge Alesha Dixon, comedian Reginald D Hunter and Scottish entertainer Dorothy Paul.
Roving Fromagiere Phoebe Weller who recently attended the awards was also on hand to guide this week’s celebrity guests through their cheeseboards.
From creamy brie to blue cheese, cheddar to goat’s cheese, these selections of cheeses have one thing in common – their strong flavour.
First up on the cheese board was Ailsa Craig from Summer Isles hotel, Ross-shire recently voted the best Scottish Cheese Board at the cheese awards. Ailsa Craig is a delicious goat’s cheese which packs a strong flavour.
Phoebe was keen to show her appreciation, she said: “This is one you don’t see very often, it’s beautiful, gentle. It’s got a nice tang.”
Next up Isle of Mull Cheddar, also from Summer Isles hotel is known for its “really sharp” and its sharpness is due to the cow’s ‘special’ diet – beer.
Phoebe explains the cow’s dietary requirements: “It has a beautiful sharpness to it; the cows are fed of the draught from the local distillery so it’s got this almost alcoholic height to it.”
Criffel was the third cheese on The Hour’s cheeseboard, made at the Loch Arthur creamery. Recently voted the Best Scottish cheese 2011 at the cheese awards, it is known for its extremely pungent smell and is already a firm favourite amongst many cheese lovers.
Moving on to the blue cheese on the board was the Blue Monday also from Summer Isles hotel. It proved too strong for guests Alesha Dixon and Dorothy Paul; however it does have an acquired taste.
A cheeseboard wouldn’t be complete with a creamy cheese and the Clava Brie made quite an impression on the studio guests. Alesha Dixon declared her love for the cheese: “I love brie.”
Made at the Connage Highland dairy in Inverness, Phoebe was also a fan of this cheese, she said: “It’s a fantastic cheese.”
The final cheese on The Hour’s cheeseboard was Anster from the St Andrews Farmhouse. Made using unpasteurised milk from the home-bred Holstein Friesian cows is fresh and dry. It has a crumbly texture and dissolves in the mouth.
For more information on cheeses featured on the show visit the cheese websites
• Loch Arthur Creamery website
• St Andrew’s Farmhouse
• Summer Isles hotel visit
• Connage Highland Dairy
• Roving Fromagiere