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Cheese producer wins four national awards
Natural Pastures Cheese Company has once again been honoured — this time at the British Empire Cheese Competition — for its artisan cheeses made on Vancouver Island.
The Courtenay-based company was awarded top standing in several categories at the Belleville, Ont. event hosted by the Central Ontario Cheesemaker Association. Judges tasted more than 500 specialty cheeses as part of Canada’s oldest and longest-running cheese competition, now in its 86th year.
Awards were as follows in several categories:
•second place for Boerenkaas, a semi-hard, flavourful cheese that’s also called “farmer’s cheese”;
•first place for Pacific Pepper verdelait, a vibrant cheese flavoured with Comox-Valley grown habanero peppers and black pepper;
•second place for Cracked Pepper verdelait, a semi-firm but creamy cheese spiked with cracked black pepper;
•third place for Mozzarella di Bufala, the rich, hand-stretched and formed mozzarella made with water buffalo milk from Vancouver Island.
All Natural Pastures cheeses are handcrafted under the watchful eye of Swiss cheesemaker Paul Sutter using fresh milk from local dairy farms. The cheeses have garnered various awards over the years.
“These awards are a great testimony to the hard work of Paul and all the team,” Natural Pastures’ operations manager Doug Smith said.