Say Cheese, please

GODMINSTER VINTAGE ORGANIC CHEDDAR

But just one bite is enough to banish forever all thoughts of that rubbery French playground snack. There’s a reason this little wonder is matured for 12 months – it regularly receives awards. As soon as it is in your mouth, it transforms into a delicious creamy mass that would awaken even the sleepiest taste bud from its slumber.

The notes of nuts, butter and sea salt on the palate evoke the wonders of nature and inspire wanderlust. And what’s more: the whole thing is 100% organic and vegetarian. Even though it is left to mature for up to 12 months, this Cheddar is pleasantly mild, with a balanced flavour. Godminster Vintage Organic Cheddar is a deliciously soft and creamy Cheddar that is protected by the distinctive Godminster burgundy wax. It has a rich depth, but without the acidity that is sometimes associated with vintage Cheddar. This lends it a full-bodied, balanced flavour with a smooth and creamy texture.
Godminster Farm is set on the outskirts of the picturesque tiny town of Bruton in the heart of Somerset. With 1,300 acres of beautiful landscape, the farm is not only home to 280 organic dairy cows but also boasts fruitful orchards. The cows at Godminster Farm enjoy a leisurely, healthy life. The freshness of the milk and the sustainable approach to farming contribute to the delicious and distinctive taste of the award-winning Godminster cheese.

Category: Cheddar Milk: pasteurised cow’s milk Rennet: vegetable rennet
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ISLE OF MULL CHEDDAR

This is a drunken cheese – in a manner of speaking. It comes from Scotland, and as everyone knows, in Scotland there is a whisky distillery around every corner. Summers are short on the Isle of Mull as it is quite far north, so the cows spend a good deal of the year in the barn. In order to prevent this from making the cows even more depressed than they are naturally, what’s needed is a wee dram of whisky, of course.

And if we are going to use whisky, we might as well use the best. The Tobermory Distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland, having been established in 1798 (when the Swiss Confederation was fighting against Napoleon at Grauholz), and is fortunately very close by. Wherever distilling happens, you get spent grains (draff), which the cows love. Half silage, half draff is the perfect fodder mixture for creating plenty of great-tasting milk. It may come with a slightly alcoholic aroma, but we’ll allow ourselves (and the cows) that indulgence. Cheers. Made from raw cow’s milk and typically left to mature for 13 to 15 months. A hearty, full-bodied Scottish Cheddar.
Jeff and Chris Reade moved from Somerset, where they had already been making Cheddar, to a dilapidated farm called “Sgriob-ruadh” in 1979. It is located just outside the town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.
Over the next 35 years, together with their three sons and driven by their own enterprise, ingenuity, skill and hard work, they have built a working farm. The farm is powered entirely by a hydroelectric plant and two wind turbines that they constructed themselves.

Category: Cheddar Milk: raw cow’s milk Rennet: animal rennet
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ROLLRIGHT

What the French and the Swiss can do, we’ve long been able to do, too. David Jowett and Antony Curnow of King Stone Dairy in Oxfordshire decided that if the French and the Swiss could make great cheese, they certainly could too. A cheesemaker that has the **King Stone** in their garden is surely justified in feeling confident about their cheesemaking abilities – all the more so if they have been taught by the best cheesemakers in the UK. And the cheese they make at King Stone Dairy, the Rollright, has every reason to stand proud alongside the best of them.

It might not be able to compete with the famous cheeses that inspired it – Reblochon and Vacherin – in terms of fame, but it certainly holds its own in terms of taste. However, this great taste is something you can only experience when you have overcome the first hurdle: the scent of the peach-coloured rind. It’s a formidable odour, but that’s all part of the fun. What’s even more surprising is the first (admittedly usually rather cautious) bite. There is no longer even a hint of acidity – just a taste experience that more than justifies all the awards that this cheese has won. Soft cheese made of pasteurised cow’s milk with a peach-coloured rind and a soft, light yellow paste. The smell of this soft cheese is much stronger than its taste. It surprises from the very first bite: it is creamy and complex, and does not have the sharpness and acidity of a Reblochon.
Our Rollright is made by David Jowett and Antony Curnow at King Stone Dairy in Oxfordshire. This type of washed rind cheese is inspired by the famous soft cheeses Reblochon and Vacherin. It is characterised by a buttery and spicy taste with full-bodied, but not too pungent flavours.

Category: soft cheese Milk: pasteurised cow’s milk Rennet: animal rennet
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COLSTON BASSETT STILTON

Stilton is one of Britain’s best-known cheeses, and this Colston Bassett Stilton is made to a specific recipe, with an ideal balance of fruity blue veins and creamy paste.

Even though Stilton is one of Britain’s best-known cheeses, it is only made by six producers. Of these, the cooperative in the village of Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire, is one of the smallest. It sources its milk from five farms located within a mile of the dairy.
Apart from a brief hiatus during the Second World War, Stilton has been made at the Colston Bassett and District Dairy since 1913. During this time, there have only been four cheesemakers: Tom Coy, Ernie Wagstaff, Richard Rowlett and now Billy Kevan.
This might help to explain why this Stilton has changed less over time than any other. One of the principal differences is that the curds are hand-ladled – a time-consuming and painstaking process, but one that helps to preserve the structure of the curd. The resulting cheeses are more buttery in texture than mass-produced Stiltons. The sticky pink rind is edible, if you like the taste.

Category: blue cheese Milk: pasteurised cow’s milk Rennet: animal rennet
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STICHELTON

The recipe for Stichelton is 100 litres of stubbornness and a pinch of British scrupulousness. Joe Schneider, the brave young hero of our story, initially had set out to make raw-milk Stilton. However, the venerable Stilton Cheesemakers’ Association firmly declared that they were “not amused”, and flatly refused to allow him to make raw-milk Stilton.

As young rebels are wont to do, Joe Schneider took a leaf out of the book of Che Guevara – the ultimate revolutionary – and rebelled by seasoning his Stilton with a little Che, making it StiCHElton. That being said, it’s also possible that the name comes from the fact that the place called “Stilton” was called “Stichelton” some 1,000 years ago. Basically, it’s a Stilton, but made of raw milk. This rebel cheese has an exceptionally long-lasting flavour. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly find you can taste a hint of caramel or beef stock with toasty notes hours after eating it. Anyone who is unsure about blue cheese should try this one – it’s a great introduction to blue cheeses. The texture is rather soft and creamy with lacy blue veining. Joe Schneider has been making raw-milk blue cheese at Stichelton Dairy (which is located half-way between Sheffield and Nottingham) since 2006.
While the use of raw milk certainly contributes to the flavour of Stichelton, the way the cheese is made also plays a part. Joe Schneider uses a very slow preparation process that allows the natural flora in the milk to bring out all the flavours. The curds are hand-ladled, allowing for a more delicate texture than when applying factory methods. Similar care is taken with maturing. Stichelton cheese is given time to begin rind formation, and it is given time to dry and mature before piercing. This cheese is constantly evolving. There can be a great deal of variation in how the cheese tastes from batch to batch, and seasonal variation is a factor as well.
While this is a blue cheese, the flavour of the paste is not dominated by the blue veins. Instead, it displays a balance of the broken-down, milky-white paste, the flavours provided by the rind, and enough blue to add strength and complexity to the taste without dominating it.

Category: blue cheese Milk: raw cow’s milk Rennet: animal rennet
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TYMSBORO

This cheese has a bright acidity when young, with spicy, meaty, sherry-like, mineral and peppery flavours developing with age. Tymsboro is among our saltiest cheeses, but it has other powerful flavours in spades.

Tymsboro is made by Mary Holbrook at Sleight Farm in Somerset, from the milk of her own mixed herd of goats. It is based on a Valençay recipe Mary Holbrook encountered on a visit to the Loire Valley. The inside of the cheese is extremely silky and bone-white at the core, with a yellow, translucent breakdown under the rind. Mary Holbrook is insistent that Tymsboro must have a substantial Penicillium-dominated rind. However, rather than the pure-white strains of Penicillium that are added to the outside of cheeses like Ragstone and Wigmore, Mary Holbrook’s strains are propagated naturally in the farm environment, and tend towards duck-egg blue rather than paper-white. They bring with them a peppery flavour and a robustness that marks Tymsboro out as a true original.

Category: goat’s cheese, soft cheese Milk: raw goat’s milk, farm’s own milk Rennet: animal rennet
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