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This cheese does not use rennet and is therefore suitable for vegetarians

Cornish Blue

from £7.74

Designed to be eaten as a young cheese, Cornish Blue is a very different product from traditional English blue cheeses such as Stilton or Dorset Blue Vinny.

On the soft side of firm, it's also at the milder end of the flavour spectrum. Cornish Blue is made by Philip and Carol Stansfield with milk from their own farm which sits on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

This cheese had a great moment in the spotlight when it was judged Supreme Champion at the 2010 World Cheese Awards - this led to newspaper headlines saying 'Cornish Blue Is The Best Cheese In The World'!

Pasteurised, vegetarian.

Note: some cheeses develop a pink-brown appearance when cut. This is just an aspect of this particular cheese and nothing to worry about.

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Cornish Blue Cheese

Cornish Blue cheese is made in a pretty special place. Upton Cross is on the south-eastern corner of Bodmin Moor, a bleak and beautiful landscape of hills, heath and tors, studded all over with old mine workings, and the yellow flashes of gorse flowers on every side. Philip and Carol Stansfield moved here from Cheshire in 1994. But they didn't come just for the landscape: Philip needed to leave the family farm and set up on his own, and at that time Cornish farms were good value.

But then the milk price dropped - from 24p a litre to 15p. Carol's physiotherapy practice helped ... but at that price dairying just wasn't sustainable. A list of possibilities (yoghourt? ice cream?) was reduced to one - cheese - and so began a period of careful research. What they discovered in 2000 was that there were only 18 blue cheeses made in the UK, and none of these was a soft, mild variety. A gap had been found.

It took a year to develop the recipe and get it right. Making it, trying it, changing it (one thing at a time!), until it worked. Cornish

Blue went on sale in 2001: "It changed our lives", Phil says. Sales really took off in 2004, and especially after a spectacular double whammy two years later, when they won Best English Cheese and Best Blue Cheese at the British Cheese Awards.

In retrospect, their timing was perfect. The cheese was developed when there were still gaps in the market (they're harder to find now), and went into production just ahead of the huge surge of interest in British artisan cheese that still continues. Phil and Carol found themselves well placed to take advantage of this. They've never looked back, and Cornish Blue goes from strength to strength, with one-and-a-half tons being made every week by a team of five.

Phil looks out over a thriving cheese scene, but still thinks there's an education job to be done - making more people aware of British cheeses beyond Stilton and Cheddar. The very successful Cornish Blue will remain their core product, though there are plans to resurrect Beast of Bodmin (!) a washed rind cheese.