Affineur of the Year 2022

Our Brindisa cheese experts take on the unique opportunity to compete for the prestigious title of 'Affineur of the Year 2022'. Find out more about this brilliant competition!

| Saskia Boissevain

A Cheddar Adventure

Introducing our new addition to the cheese room, the 'Brindisa Cheddar'.
Our cheese experts here at Brindisa have been invited to take part in a unique opportunity to compete in the 'Affineur of the Year 2022' competition hosted by the prestigious Academy of Cheese & Quicke's!

How the competition works

All competitors have received a 27kg wheel of Quicke's mature cheddar truckle from the same vat. 
The competitors have to care for the cheese at their cheese facilities for 9 months. During this time, the cheese will be graded and documented via grading sheets. 
At the end of the 9 months the cheese will be judged by a committee of industry experts at a fabulous event on February 24th 2022, hosted by Academy of Cheese and Quicke's in London. 
The winner will be crowned the acclaimed title of 'Affineur of the Year 2022'!
Mary Quicke
"The art of affineur is a perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of artisan cheesemaking, so we're delighted to be launching a competition that's dedicated to them"
Mary Quicke, Owner of Quicke's Cheese

In conversation with Rupert

...who heads up all things 'cheese' at Brindisa!

"When we heard about the competition, we thought aging a cheddar was so far out of our comfort zone that we just had to give it a go".

Rupert Linton, Brindisa


What is your relationship with Affinage?
Affinage is quite a big word. I describe what we do as aging and trying to provide the conditions that a cheese will thrive in before they reach our customers.
Why did you enter the competition?
When we heard about the competition, we thought aging a cheddar was so far out of our comfort zone that we just had to give it go.
Some Spanish cheese makers have tried their hands at cheddar making and the Canaries have a tradition of large cheese making using pimenton rinds so we thought it would be interesting to combine the two traditions and see what evolves.
How are you approaching the maturation and why have you chosen this approach?

As a company that has only ever had Spanish cheeses in our cheese rooms we’re very interested to see how the microflora of the rooms will affect the development of flavour in the cheddar. The cheddar will be sharing an environment with ewe’s & goat’s milk cheese from Southern Europe. We age cheeses that weigh less than 3kg so we don’t tend to age them for more than 5 months.

It will be interesting to see how a cheese develops over a longer period.

Apart from the aging techniques used for the Zamorano Gran Reserva which is aged for two years in an underground cave, we considered a Grazalema style coating the cheese in Iberico lard or a Mahon style where the cheese is rubbed in olive oil and paprika to create a new rind.

We decided to mature the cheddar in the style of a mahon as that is the technique we are most familiar with and we know that mahon curado cheeses can age well for up to 12 months so we’re hopeful we can transfer this technique to a cheddar.

What are you expectations for the matured cheese, flavour profile after 9 months?

On the whole Spanish cheeses are known for their bold flavours and I expect creating a pimenton rind on a cheddar will contribute to concentrating flavour. I don’t expect the pimenton flavours themselves to penetrate far into the paste, the powdered spice creates a breathable layer and controls the activity of cheese mites.

The olive oil may well affect the aromas coming off the cheddar and it will be interesting to see how much the paste of the cheddar absorbs the oil. Mahon often has an aroma of peaches on the rind, it will be interesting to see if this develops on the cheddar too.







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