Sign up for a special cheese and wine tasting and become a People’s Cheese 2024 judge

Image: People’s Choice awards round one at the Chiswick Cheese Market in May

It’s coming home!

No, not the football. All but the most deluded have long since given up on that aspiration. Cheese.

As you are no doubt aware, the origin of the name Chiswick is Cheesewick, a riverside settlement where cheese has been made since medieval times. Everything was artisanal in those days. Now, since the Chiswick Cheese Market has made us an important destination for artisanal cheese makers once again, Chiswick is being recognised as the home of real cheese.

The Real Cheese Project, which promotes the best of artisanal cheese making, is coming to Chiswick with the People’s Cheese 2024 awards, supported by the Cheese Market and The Chiswick Calendar.

As a promoter, we are able to offer Chiswick Calendar Club Card holders a £10 discount on tickets (£25 instead of £35) in which you get to take part in a cheese and wine with a difference. You will be choosing the four semi-finalists who go forward to the final, and you will make some hard-working British cheese makers very happy.

People’s Cheese 2024 awards

The first round of the People’s choice awards took place in May at the Chiswick Cheese Market, where every half an hour a different cheese was laid out on a stall for people to sample and evaluate.

“Some people stayed all day and sampled every one”, said Cheese Market director Lucy Cufflin.

The Real Cheese Project is intended to help people learn about cheese, so they can seek out local cheese makers and find the kind of cheese they like.

“We are a nation of very small cheese makers” Sam Brice, one of the organisers of the People’s Cheese 2024 Awards, told The Chiswick Calendar.

“There are thousands of artisan cheeses in Britain. We now produce a wider variety of cheeses than France, and the people who go into it are extraordinarily dedicated.”

They had seven ‘territorial’ cheese categories, with between two and five cheeses in each one, so across the day more than 200 people tried around 45 different cheeses.

“What’s popular is not necessarily in line with what a professional cheese judge would select” Sam told us.

Two more heats will be held at the Cheese Market on 21 July, due to the seasonal availability of the cheese, before round two of the awards is held in the Boston Room at George IV.

Images: Trying cheeses at the Chiswick Cheese Market

Round two – Sunday 21 July

The winners of each of the nine varieties will go forward to the semi-final event on Sunday 21 July. This will be a more formal affair – a sit down cheese tasting with bread and crackers and fruit and wine, with notes from cheese author, Patrick McGuigan and a guest appearance from People’s Cheese 2023 champion, Jane Quicke from Quicke’s, who have been making cheese on their family farm at Newton St Cyres in Devon since 1540.

Nine territorial cheese varieties in all: Scottish Dunlop cheeses, Lancashire, Cheshire, Caerphilly, Cheddar, Gloucester, Red Leicester, Stilton and Wensleydale.

These are the cheeses which will be on offer:

Dunlop – Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop from Dunlop Dairy

Characteristics: Mild, nutty and smooth when young, maturing to develop more strength and sharpness.

Image: Jonathan Crump cheeses; Thelma’s Original Caerffili

Gloucester – Double Gloucester from Jonathan Crump Cheese

Characteristics: Savoury and earthy with a milky, farmyardy finish. Rich, mellow, and buttery.

Lancashire – Singletons Lancashire from Carron Lodge

Characteristics: Clean, zesty, and slightly sharp flavour, with a crumbly texture.

Caerphilly – Thelma’s Original Caerffili from Caws Cenarth Cheese

Characteristics: A crumbly cow’s milk cheese with a distinctive delicate lemony flavour.

Image: Keen’s Cheddar

Cheddar – Extra Mature Cheddar from Keen’s Cheddar

Characteristics: Sweet and strong, nutty and moreish. Crumbles in the hand yet melts in the mouth.

Red Leicester – Rutland Red from Long Clawson

Characteristics: Cloth-bound with a flaky, open texture, a rich golden orange colour, and a slightly sweet, caramelised flavour.

Images: Cropwell Bishop Stilton (L); Rutland Red (R)

Stilton – Blue Stilton from Cropwell Bishop Creamery

Characteristics: Rich tangy flavour, and a velvety-soft texture that makes it melt in the mouth.

Cheshire and Wenesleydale cheeses still to be chosen.

If you would like to take part, book your tickets on Eventbrite here: Heritage cheese tasting

To take advantage of The Chiswick Calendar £10 discount, please enter the promo code: chiswickcalendar.

Image: James and Nicola Grant from No2 Pound Street; Sam and Amy Brice of Freshly Ground PR

The Real Cheese Project

The Real Cheese Project was launched in the spring, established to champion real British cheese and get more people buying artisan over industrial. They have spent the past few months building relationships with cheese makers and independent mongers so they can share their stories with the cheese loving British public.

Founded by James and Nicola Grant from No2 Pound Street, the cheesemonger in Wendover specialising in British cheese, with a wine shop focusing on a carefully curated range of wines from small, niche producers, and Sam and Amy Brice of Freshly Ground PR, who have supported the World Cheese Awards and British Cheese Awards.

From September they will be offering consumers a box each month, containing a newspaper with news about artisanal cheeses, and a wedge of cheese with a story to tell, supported by an online tasting session later in the month.

You can sign up for their newsletter here: The Real Cheese Project newsletter

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar