The Norfolk cheese which has won a national gold medal
- Credit: Matthew Usher
A blue cheese created by a north Norfolk cheesemaker with decades of experience has scooped a national gold medal.
Mrs Temple's Cheese, run by Catherine Temple, won the gold medal in the blue class for its Binham Blue at the Artisan Cheese Awards.
And in the hard cheese class she also won silver for her Wells Alpine.
The winners were announced at the Artisan Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray, which was held over the weekend of July 17 and 18.
Mrs Temple has become synonymous with Norfolk, producing her products in Wighton, near Wells.
Binham Blue is a full-flavoured and creamy blue cheese, while Wells Alpine is a sweet and nutty hard variety.
Mrs Temple said the fair and awards not only offered a chance to showcase their cheese, but she said visitors there spoke of their excitement to have staycations in Norfolk.
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In particular many people spoke about their love for the food and beaches, she said.
Elsewhere, in the washed rind category St Jude Cheese, based at Fen Farm in Bungay, picked up the silver award for its St Cera and bronze for its St Helena in the raw milk class.
St Cera is a gooey, melting cheese for those who prefer a stronger taste, while St Helena, which was launched last autumn, is milky and sweet with a slight tang at the end.
Owner Julie Cheyney said they were delighted to have won the medals, and said the cheese fair, which is organised by Matthew O'Callaghan, was a celebration of artisan producers and a great opportunity to reconnect with industry colleagues.
She said it came after a strange 18 months, during which they were not able to attend any events, though they did see trade increase elsewhere.
"I was so fortunate, so blessed to be in the food industry and the sort of food people wanted to eat," she said.
"People were very interested in selections and boxes, and it's been a great advertisement for British producers."
Five other local cheese options to try
1. Norfolk White Lady, Willow Farm in Deopham
A ewes' milk cheese, it's the ideal alternative for anyone who is allergic to cows' milk. It's mild and creamy, with a rich, tangy flavour.
2. Wensum White, Fielding Cottage in Honingham
A creamy Brie-style goats' milk cheese, which is perfect for melting and baking - or just eating as it comes.
3. Baron Bigod, Fen Farm in Bungay
Arguably one of the most popular and best-known local cheeses, it is made with unpasteurised milk from Montbeliarde cows from France. It's a true farmhouse Brie, creamy and earthy.
4. Norfolk Dapple, Ferndale Farm in Barningham
This has enough similarities to cheddar to be treated as a good alternative, with a full flavour and a hint of nuttiness.
5. Norfolk Mardler, Fielding Cottage in Honingham
With a distinctive yellow wax coating, this white hard cheese has a creaminess and is a great balance between sweet and savoury. It's named after the term 'to mardle' from Norfolk dialect, meaning to gossip or chat.