Pyramid goats cheese made near Glastonbury Festival site named the best in England

A SOMERSET goats cheese paying subtle homage to the Glastonbury Festival has been crowned the best in England.

Tor, produced by Shepton Mallet-based White Lake Cheese, was crowned Best English Cheese at the 2024 British Cheese Awards.

The awards, held at the Royal Bath & West Showground on March 22, featured more than 600 cheeses.

White Lake Cheese won Best English Cheese for Tor, a fresh lactic goat’s cheese, made from unpasteurised milk and vegetarian rennet.

Formed in a pyramid shape – echoing the iconic Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival hosted in nearby Pilton – it is billed as having “a unique geotrichum rind and is lightly coated with ash to add a very subtle peppery undertone along with a combination of lemony flavours and a typical goat’s cheese ‘tang’”.

In total, White Lake won four Gold medals, three Silver medals and eight Bronze medals.

Roger Longman, owner of White Lake Cheese, said: “We are delighted to win yet more awards for our cheeses.

“Consistently winning prizes helps customers know that they have made the right choice and introduces new cheeses to the cheese world.”

Gary Yeomans, chair of the Milking Goat Association, praised members who had picked up gongs.

“These awards are superb news for these members of the British Goat Association,” he said.

“For Tor, from White Lake Cheese, to win Best English Cheese out of over 600 cheeses judged is a superb achievement. It just shows the exceptional quality of goats milk products made here in the United Kingdom, by dedicated and talented producers.”

St Helen’s Farm, based near York, North Yorkshire, celebrated with a Gold for its goats butter, a Gold for its goats yoghurt, a Silver for its mature goat’s cheese and a Bronze for its mild goats cheese.

And Delamere Dairy, based near Knutsford, Cheshire, won four awards, a Silver for its goats butter and three Bronzes for its medium goats cheese and its spreadable goats cheese.

The British Cheese Awards were started by cheese expert Juliet Harbutt in 1994 to celebrate the renaissance in British cheese making and to raise awareness of the diversity and quality of British artisan cheese.

This year saw 50 goats cheeses entered into the awards, compared to 38 in 2022, when the awards were last held.

Cheeses are scored on presentation, texture, aroma, flavour and balance. Depending on the scores that each cheese received, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are then awarded.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.