Bothwell Cheese has done it again.
The cheesemaker competed in the 91st annual British Empire Cheese Show in Belleville, Ontario and came home a winner.
Production Manager Nathan Dueck says they took first place in the Mild Cheddar category, second place in the Medium Cheddar Non-GMO category and third place in the Medium Colour Cheddar category. Then, to top it off, Bothwell Cheese had the highest scoring cheddar for a small plant at the cheese show.
"Very pleased," says Dueck. "I'm very happy with what we place every year."
The British Empire Cheese Show is one of the longest-running cheese shows in the world. Bothwell Cheese first started competing there in 2005. According to Dueck, the best of the best cheesemakers from across Canada compete in Belleville each year.
"I would say it is one of the better competitions in my own personal opinion of what Canada has to offer," he says.
Bothwell Cheese has quite a track record of doing well at this cheese show. Accolades include having the top-ranked Monterey Jack five times between 2009 and 2016, being named highest scoring cheddar in the Small Plant category in 2014 and being named Grand Champion and having the highest scoring cheddar in 2017.
Dueck says if there is one disappointment from this year's show, it is that Bothwell Cheese did not place higher in the aged categories. But he says entries were up this year and there are a lot of great products in those categories.
"That just means I need to step up my A-game in order to send up even better than what we have in the past," he says.
A cheese cannot be entered in this competition unless it is available on the market.
Bothwell Cheese started in 1936 by a group of local dairy farmers. Dueck says they have a hard-working, dedicated staff that believes in the vision and understands how prominent a company Bothwell Cheese is.
"We believe personally that we make the best cheese in Canada," says Dueck. "And really an accolade like this always means a lot to the customers knowing that they are actually receiving the best out there and that we stuck true to our roots using 100 per cent natural milk with no modified milk ingredients."
Meanwhile, Bothwell Cheese uses between 1.1 and 1.2 million litres of milk each week. Dueck says none of that milk comes from the United States. In fact, over 90 per cent is delivered from farms within twenty minutes of New Bothwell.