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An Irish handmade cheese has been named one of the top 66 cheeses in the world, after scooping an international award in Spain.

Corleggy Hard Raw Goats Milk Cheese is now ranked in the top 2% of world cheeses entered after taking one of the coveted Super Gold accolades at the World Cheese Awards 2016 in San Sebastian.

A record number of 3,021 cheeses from all over the world, including Europe, Mexico, South America, USA and Australia vied for prestigious awards.

Corleggy from Belturbet in Cavan was also the only cheese out of 15 Irish entrants represented at the event, to attain the Super Gold status.

The mother and son team of Silke and Tom Cropp are showcasing their now world-winning cheese at this year’s biggest-ever five-day National Crafts and Design Fair in the RDS, which opens today (Wednesday) and runs until Sunday.

Record-breaking crowds of over 40,000 are expected to generate more than €1m per day in sales at over 600 stands at the event, which opened to large queues outside the venue.

Handmade in Belturbet, using raw, unpasteurised milk from local herds, multi-award winning Corleggy Cheeses have been made by the artisan company since 1995.

“This prestigious international award means a whole lot to us, particularly because we are hoping to expand our export market to speciality cheese shops all over Europe,” said Silke.

“We believe in the slow food philosophy. It takes time for wonderful cheeses to develop and now expert judges have ranked us to be among the finest cheeses in the world.

“We feel that the aroma and taste strike a perfect balance between rich and mild.

“Our cheese takes between eight weeks to four months to mature, depending on the season, weather and humidity. The rind is natural, edible and very flavoursome.”

The very best of Ireland’s top craftspeople and designers in areas from fashion to jewellery, ceramics, textiles, woodcraft, photography and art are exhibiting at over 600 stands this year across four halls at the National Crafts and Design Fair.

Exhibitors such as Game of Thrones textile artist Emma Andrews, Ireland’s first Fairchain coffee company Moyee, former financial services expert-turned fashion designer Kabira Allain and new World Super Gold award winners Corleggy Cheese are just some of the exciting names at this year’s Fair.

And amongst the hundreds of other cutting edge exhibitors is board game Chase Across The Square which experts claim can help to reduce maths anxiety in younger people – a condition that affects two out of three teenage girls in Ireland.

And couples can explore how to make their own wedding rings using precious metals thanks to contemporary jewellery designer Garret Mallon.

The range is dazzling with everything from chocolates and cosmetics to cutting-edge fashion and high-end jewellery design, and because the goods are handmade they have the distinction of being unique.

The National Crafts and Design Fair 2016 takes place at the RDS Main Hall from Nov 30 – Dec 4 from 10am each day.

Full details and booking can be found at www.nationalcraftsfair.ie

 

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