The Three Counties Show

PUBLISHED: 17:02 20 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:04 20 February 2013

Last year’s cheese judging – Kay Sillitoe, left, with Eurwen Richards

Last year’s cheese judging – Kay Sillitoe, left, with Eurwen Richards

Debbie Graham savours the flavour of the 2010 Three Counties Show

A taste of good things to come

Debbie Graham savours the flavour of the 2010 Three Counties Show

The Three Counties Show in Malvern next month has local food produce at its heart.

And with the region famed for its cider and cheese its no wonder they
are integral ingredients with their own sections and exhibitors in the Severn Hall.

Sharon Gilbert, of the Three Counties Agricultural Society says:This region is known for both its cider-making and its cheese-making, and as the show promotes the very best produce to be found in the three counties, we thought it fitting to celebrate the many different ciders and cheeses to be found in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Of course, cider and cheese are perfect partners, so consolidating the two was a natural step forward. We do hope our visitors will enjoy some delicious produce under one roof.

It is vital that we support our local and regional producers and highlight wherever possible the benefits and the joys of locally sourced British food
and drink.

Local producers agree. Michael Stacey of Gorsehill Abbey Cheese in Broadway, Worcestershire says: The show is important to us because there are many fine cheeses, both traditional and new, being made in the Three Counties area and it is a wonderful way of drawing this to the attention of the public.

Michael is hoping to repeat the success of 2007 when a Gorsehill Abbey cheese was supreme champion in the cheese show and went on to be judged best English cheese.

His hopes are pinned on a soft, creamy, brie-like St Eadburgha which is my wife Dianes favourite, or the pungent aromatic St Oswald, which is my favourite cheese, as it resembles some of the cheeses I grew up with on the borders of France and Switzerland.

The show does not only attract exhibitors from the host counties. The Shropshire Cheese Company will be back after a highly successful first venture last year where it took a first place with its smoked Tanatside cheese in the smoked cheese section.

Owner Rena Eyres says: I aim to try again this year as there was a lot of local interest in our cheese at the show. It is amazing how many Shropshire people visit the show but the organisers gave us a very warm welcome as a neighbouring county.

For the cider show the one to watch has to be Olivers Cider and Perry. Tom Oliver from Ocle Pychard in Herefordshire has won the Three Counties Cup for best cider for three out of the four years it has been presented, including 2009.

But perhaps this is to change Tom says: The success of the show and the competition sees an ever increasing number of entries from all around the world and it may well be that the cup moves out of the county this year.

There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved with tutored cider and cheese tasting where you taste under the eye of an expert, paired matchings and recipes. Visitors can also turn their hand to judging with the peoples and childrens choice classes on the Friday. See if your choice wins the prize.

But there is more to the show than cider and cheese. Other attractions include dairy produce, poultry, bees and honey competitions and a food theatre, sponsored by HEART of ENGLAND Fine Foods (HEFF) with cookery demonstrations from expert chefs and plenty of delicious recipes to try at home.

The standard of catering within the show is equally high. Sharon says: The society continues to support quality food and drink producers and is stepping up its endeavours to source more local and regional suppliers
using mainly British produce, for its catering at shows and events.

The long term aim is that visitors and exhibitors eating at the showground will know that wherever possible, the produce is sourced from the UK first.

And these plans are well on their way. The Malvern Showground restaurant, Stockmans Diner, is a Red Tractor-licensed establishment, meaning the food has been tracked through every stage, from farm to plate.

The Severn Valley Caterings Food For Thought Caf uses Red Tractor milk, potatoes and onions and British meat and is looking to make one of its mobile units a Red Tractor unit.

So if you love your food and you love the region, then this is the show to visit this summer.

The Three Counties Show runs at the Malvern Showground from June 18-20. For more information and to book tickets go to www.threecounties.co.uk or telephone 01684 584924.

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