Producer: Northumberland Cheese Company
Region: South Northumberland
What’s your story? “Developing new cheeses is a passion of mine, and my range of 16 varieties shows it,” says MD Mark Atkinson. “However, one gap in the market - in both the north-east and for the Northumberland Cheese Company - was a blue cheese, and regulars at farmers markets across the region were demanding one. Cheesemakers had tried and failed to create a northern blue cheese, so in 2010 my team and I took on the challenge.
Why is your cheese a regional gem? “We want to show the country that there are more British blue cheeses available than they think - even one from up north now! All sorts of people were involved in the launch of Blagdon Blue - from Newcastle University students doing taste tests to our customers coming up with the name (to honour the Blagdon Estate dairy herd, where our milk is from). It is a real community cheese with a big fan base at farmers markets and further afield.
The Grocer says: A truly gorgeous blue. We were impressed with the strong yet smooth taste of Blagdon Blue, which would make it a great option for people who are usually wary of blue cheeses. There’s certainly nothing harsh about this northern lovely.