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Amongst the ten metropolitan boroughs and two cities that make up Greater Manchester, there are many talented local brewers, butchers, bakers, growers and farmers, to name but a few. We also found one excellent, independent cheese maker.
Claire Burt started making Burt's Blue cheese from her cellar in 2009. Unusual these days, but cheese making was traditionally a cottage industry. She was no stranger to the process having worked as a product development manager for Dairy Gold, after gaining her degree in food science and nutrition. Part of her job was to examine the properties of different cheeses for using in ready meals. A detailed knowledge of 'the science bit' - rennet, cultures, lactic acids and moulds, got her thinking about making her own ideal cheese. Practical constraints influenced her design - it would have to be a soft cheese with a relatively short 'ripening' time, blue cheese is her favourite and there were limitations on storage and equipment.
Burt's blue became a Gold award winner in the 2010 Nantwich Cheese Awards which brought welcome reassurance and publicity. An increase in demand meant that Claire needed bigger premises, so she moved production to 'The Cheshire Cookery School' Altrincham, in September 2011.
Claire describes Burt's as 'a semi soft, mild, approachable blue in the continental style, with a creamy texture' - unlike a more traditional British blue which is usually drier and more crumbly.
Every single cheese is made carefully by hand, so each one has its own slightly individual characteristics.
Burt's blue is made in small batches using locally sourced milk. It is available in two sizes (200g or 1.5kg) Click here to see the full list of current stockists.