It has just been announced that Doddington Dairy of Wooler in Northumberland, has been presented with three World Cheese Awards, the highest accolade which can be bestowed upon a cheese manufacturing company. These Awards were initiated in 1988 by the Guild of Fine Food and are a showcase for the best of worldwide cheeses.
The famous ‘Admiral Collingwood’ and ‘Doddington’ cheeses were both given a Gold Award, with ‘Berwick Edge’ receiving a Bronze. This is not only a tremendous achievement for the company itself, but for the North East as a whole.
In 1993, the Maxwell farming family at North Doddington Farm near Wooler in Northumberland acknowledged that diversification was an essential step to take in maintaining their agricultural business. Together Neill and his sister Margaret Ann Maxwell decided to make use of the high quality milk produced from North Doddington’s dairy herd and go into the cheese-making business.
Now, over twenty years later, the company has a repertoire of seven hard, semi-soft and blue cheeses to choose from. ‘Admiral Collingwood’ is washed in Newcastle Brown Ale and described as a close textured cheese with strong flavour and pungent aroma. ‘Doddington’ was the original eponymous cheese which is made from raw milk and traditional rennet, similar in recipe to English Leicester, but with caramel notes and a nutty flavour. Berwick Edge’ named after the area of land where the cows graze, is similar to Dutch Gouda, but with a robust flavour and lingering aftertaste.
Speaking on hearing of the awards, Margaret Ann said:
“We are thrilled that our cheese has been recognised at such a worldwide level. We have always maintained that quality and flavour should go hand in hand and, no matter what the size of company, these should not be compromised. We are a small, family run business whose quality milk has resulted in the production of quality cheese and these awards are as much a testament to our excellent team of staff as for the produce itself.”
Because Doddington Dairy is not a giant conglomerate, the care and precision by the production team, blended with the fresh air and grass afforded to the herd, has gone a long way to creating a product appreciated by many, both locally and further afield. Margaret Ann adds:
“The making of cheese is not a speedy process. It requires patience, time to let the maturing process reach its optimum quality, and we believe that has gone a long way towards us achieving these Awards.”
With Christmas approaching, there will be many delights such as hampers and festive treats available to purchase from the Dairy, details of which are available from www.doddingtondairy.co.uk or by telephoning 01668 283010.