Courtesy of Wyke Farms

The prize-winning wheels were worth over $1000.

July 18, 2017

Talk about being cheesed off. A British cheesemaker went from elation to disgust when, the day after two of his blocks of cheddar were crowned competition champions, he returned only to discover they had been stolen. He’s now offering a £500 reward in the hope that someone will bring his champion cheeses back.

The cheese theft happened over the weekend at The Yeovil Show, an annual event in England’s Somerset county. After cheesemakers at the nearby Wyke Farms had two of their cheddars named champion and reserve champion, the two 20 kilogram blocks, valued at around £800, were left overnight so they could be put on public display the next morning. However, both massive cheeses disappeared – and adding insult to injury, so had the winners’ certificates.

“They left all the other cheeses and just took ours,” Rich Clothier, cheesemaker and managing director of Wyke Farms, told the Guardian. “It’s disappointing. To win the champion and reserve was really nice for us. It took around a year-and-a-half to make those cheeses. They are among the best we have ever produced.”

Though the retail value is only £800, Clothier pointed out that the actual value of these block might now be much higher after their victory in the competition. “These cheeses could be considered masterpieces; it’s a bit like having a valuable painting stolen,” he explained. “They were complex, like a fine bottle of wine.”

Still, despite offering the £500 reward, Clotheir didn’t appear optimistic about the cheese’s return. He pointed out that to pull off a theft of such a large amount of cheese would probably require some planning. In fact, he suggested that thieves may have been so sophisticated that these two cheddars might already be out of the country. Somewhere on the European black market, someone is probably eating the best damn cheddar cheese of their life.