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The BBC's Sumit Bose
"The cheese is inspired by the Yorkshire passion for curry"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 19 April, 2000, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Cheese curries flavour in Yorkshire

Celebrity chef Brian Turner gives the cheese a taste test
By the BBC's Sumit Bose

They like things pretty traditional up in the Yorkshire dales. The beer has to be flat like the caps and the cheese, well it has to be Wensleydale.

The sharp tasting crumbly white cheese has been made in the same way for centuries.

But now this bastion of good old-fashioned country values has decided to spice things up, quite literally by producing a curried cheese.

Golden spice is made from the same Wensleydale base but then coloured with turmeric and jazzed up with Indian spices, mangoes and raisins. It was dreamt up at the creamery in Hawes.

Richard Clarke: "Hopefully we've got it right"

Richard Clarke, head of production at Wensleydale, explained it was simply time to try something different and the inspiration for it came from staff palates.

"Over the past three years we've launched a couple of different varieties of cheese. We were looking for new ideas and found we all liked curry flavoured foods and as nobody else had one we decided to have a go ourselves and make a curried cheese.

"It took some time to develop and hopefully we've got it right," he said.

Golden spice is designed to be eaten with everything from crackers to Poppadums and has a shelf life of about two months.

But is it really going to be a rival to Stilton and Red Leicester? Or is it just a cheese puff?

"No it's not a publicity stunt," said Richard Clarke.



The cheese will be made a permanent line if popular
"We have done research to show tastes are changing and people are being more adventurous. We've got to give them new things. If it's popular it will be a permanent line"

It all sounds like fun but cheese is a serious business in the catering world.

Celebrity chef Brian Turner grew up on a diet of Wensleydale enjoying its fine flavour with everything from crackers to Christmas cake.

His restaurant in South Kensington is home to good traditional British fare and he regularly offers a cheese board with interesting varieties from all over the world.

Being a Yorkshire man he's a fan of Wensleydale, but thinks they have got this one wrong.

The locals aren't convinced

"It's a cheese which works well with fruit and I can see the idea. But its not for me because they've not allowed the complimentary acidic taste of the cheese and the sweetness of fruit to work.

"They've mixed it up so you can't adjust the taste its been done for you in their proportions.

"But saying that, I served some the other night and a customer loved it," he added.

Certainly the reaction from Shoppers in Bradford, where they like a curry as much as a black pudding, was mixed.

Golden Spice will be launched at Easter and sold across the north of England.

Other speciality cheeses are being planned, including a strawberry flavoured one to be released in time for Wimbledon.

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