Top award for White Lake’s Tor

PEOPLE who love goat’s milk cheese will need no introduction to Tor, one of the many fine cheeses made by Roger Longman of White Lake Cheese, based at Bagborough close to the Royal Bath & West showground near Shepton Mallet.

Already a three-star Great Taste Award-winner, the ash-covered, pyramid-shaped Tor has just won the Best English Cheese award at the British Cheese Awards, judged at the Bath and West showground on 22nd March.

Tor is just one of the many outstanding cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses produced by White Lake. Other goats cheeses include Rachel and Katharine, sheep’s milk The English Pecorino, and cow’s milk, Bagborough Brie and Solstice.

Roger is a third generation farmer. Cheese-making started in the 1930s with his grandfather making a traditional Cheddar from the family herd, and evolving through the generations to finally become White Lake Cheese in 2004. Years of innovation and pushing the boundaries of cheese creativity and production techniques have led to the company being at the forefront of the British artisan cheese sector.

Roger says: “We love trying new things, new methods and new recipes, constantly seeking ways to evolve our family of cheeses. With thanks to our talented team of cheesemakers, we have been able to transform whacky ideas into a truly delicious range of cheeses.”

The milk used to create White Lake’s goat’s cheeses is provided by Roger’s herd of Toggenburg, British Alpine and Saanen goats. A local Guernsey herd provides the cow’s milk, and the sheep’s milk comes from another local farm.

White Lake is committed to becoming as sustainable as possible; moves to reduce the carbon footprint include a four-year programme of hedge-laying, providing a vital habitat for wildlife, two solar power schemes and a four-megawatt solar farm, which feeds into the National Grid. The goat farm is also lucky enough to have a bore hole, which supplies the farm with all of its water.

Other West Country successes at the British Cheese Awards include: Bath Soft Cheese Co, Merry Wyfe of Bath, best rind-washed cheese; Trethowans’ Gorwydd Caerphilly, best organic cheese, and best cheese from a member of the Specialist Cheesemakers Asscn, and Pitchfork, best traditional Cheddar; and Barber’s Farmhouse Cheesemakers, WCFH Extra Mature Block Cheddar, best PDO-PDI cheese.

Pictured: Roger Longman with the trophy for the Best English Cheese for the Tor goat’s cheese.