February Competition: Win Some Beautiful Burt’s Cheese

Hmm…love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is now just a few days away, and people across Britain are either worrying about what to buy their loved one or dreading the feeling of being single on the one day a year it feels obligatory to have a partner. What we need here is some cheese, and not just any old cheese but award-winning Burt’s Cheese no less – one lucky winner will receive three individual cheeses to share with someone special or (my preferred option) to eat all by themselves in this month’s competition.

Local, National and International Success Story

Burt’s Cheese began life in 2009 in Altrincham, Cheshire and received almost instant recognition with a gold award at the International Cheese Awards for the Burt’s Blue in 2010. The brand has gone from strength to strength ever since and has built up a loyal following as well as achieving national and international recognition – cheesemaker Claire Burt was named as Observer Food Monthly Best Producer in 2013, and you may have seen her a few weeks ago on Sunday Brunch with Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy (when Jerome was asked to choose four British cheeses that could stand up to their French or continental counterparts – quite an accolade). The cheese is all handmade in small vats, and the time and care invested in this process is evident in the rich taste and creamy texture of each and every one.

Claire’s best known cheese is the Burt’s Blue, a semi-soft cheese made using pasteurised cow’s milk from local dairies and pierced during the ripening process to allow the growth of mild blue veins. She also produces Drunken Burt, the same cheese but this time washed in cider rather than allowed to develop as a blue cheese, giving the cheese a beautiful golden colour and a smooth, slightly smoky taste. The newest member of the Burt’s family is the DiVine. Launched in 2015, the DiVine is made much in the same way as the Burt's Blue but instead of piercing to encourage the development of blue veins through the paste, the cheese is washed in cider and when the coat has developed it is then wrapped in vine leaves. The 'paste' of cheese takes on some of the flavour characteristics of the cider and the vine leaves help capture all flavours so it develops characteristics more like a typical washed rind cheese as it matures. Another of the Burt’s cheesemakers, Tom Partridge, won Gold in the Novice Class at the International Cheese Awards 2014 and a Gold award at the British Cheese Awards last year, so we can expect more great things to come.

How to Enter

Claire is very kindly giving away a baby truckle of each of the three cheeses in the Burt’s range. To enter, simply follow both the ICA (@icheeseawards) and Burt’s Cheese (@Burtscheese) on Twitter, and retweet one of the competition tweets from the ICA timeline. One winner (who for delivery purposes must live in the UK mainland) will be drawn randomly from all retweets received by 8pm on Sunday 14th February – I can’t think of anything more romantic than winning some lovely cheese before Valentine’s Day is out. You can find out more about Claire and her amazing cheese on the Burt’s Cheese website.