An award-winning cheese producer in North Wales is getting used to the taste of success after being hailed as “exquisite” in a national competition.
Bodnant Dairy is used to picking up the plaudits and has now had its Bodnant Traditional Welsh Caerphilly rated as a three-star product in the Great Taste Awards – putting it among the elite from 10,000 entries.
The dairy’s handmade salted butter was also given a two-star rating, after being awarded one star last year, marking an immensely successful year for the team.
The news follows nine weeks of intensive judging in six different locations in the Great Taste 2016 competition.
The dairy now enters the final stages of the competition with the successful producers picking up their Golden Fork Award on September 5.
Bodnant Dairy, based at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in Conwy, North Wales, recently picked up two other major gongs at the British Cheese Awards.
The firm won a silver award for its white Aberwen cheese, and a bronze for the smoked Abermwg variety.
The Great Taste competition has been discovering exceptional food and drink since 1994.
During that time more than 100,000 products have been judged in the competition.
Products are blind-tested by expert judges in the search for those who deserve to be championed and given the honour of carrying the Great Taste logo.
The Great Taste operates a three-star system with one star denoting ‘Simply Delicious’, two stars ‘Outstanding’ and three stars ‘Exquisite’.
Judges are made up of top chefs and restaurateurs, people who run farm shops and delis, retail buyers, journalists, farmers and food writers.
Aled Rowlands, Bodnant Dairy manager, said: “We are over the moon at being given a three-star rating in the Great Taste competition, which is one of the biggest contests in the UK.
“The Caerphilly is a relatively new addition to our range and follows a traditional recipe.
“Our salted butter is always one of the most popular products in the Bodnant Farm Shop, and after being awarded one star last year, we are delighted to have been awarded two stars this time around.
“We are proud to be part of the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, which is the centre of excellence for Welsh food and drink, and a big part of our success is down to the fresh milk we use from a farm just a mile away.
“We have been lucky enough to win a few awards in recent years, so we are delighted to add two more to the collection.”
The forerunner to the Great Taste awards was the World Cheese awards, first launched in 1988. In 1992 the awards formed part of the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, becoming the Great Taste Awards in 1994.
Entries have grown steadily every year, and had to be capped at 10,000 in 2014, with 400 judges spending 50 days seeking the best of the best.
Great Taste award-winners get the chance to showcase their products in some of the most prestigious retailers in the UK and later in the year across the globe. These include Selfridges, Harrods and Partridges.
For more information about Bodnant Dairy and Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, visit the website at www.bodnant-welshfood.co.uk