Traditionally, the great cheeses of Britain were named for the places they came from, like Cheddar, Wensleydale, Caerphilly and Stilton. This selection of 21st century cheeses also expresses a connection to the land, and six millennia of cheesemaking craft.
Ashcombe. Made by David Jowett at King Stone Dairy in Gloucestershire (pasteurised cow’s milk, animal rennet) The striking thing about this cheese is the blue-black line of wood ash through the centre. In a traditional alpine Morbier, the ash acted as a protective coat during the make. Its springy texture delivers a barnyard flavour with a fruity note and spicy finish. The name alludes to the steep pastures around the dairy.
Beauvale. Made by Robin Skailes and Howard Lucas at Cropwell Bishop Dairy in
Nottinghamshire (pasteurised cow’s milk, animal rennet). A luxuriant cheese with a
light scattering of blue, milder and softer than Cropwell’s famous Stilton, owing more
to Gorgonzola Dolcelatte. Aromas of honey, fresh bread and hazelnuts, with a lightly
peppery finish. Beauvale hints at the fabled home of Stilton – the Vale of Belvoir.
Rutland Red. Made by Richard Mayfield at Long Clawson Dairy in Leicestershire (pasteurised cow’s milk, vegetarian rennet). The furnace-red of this Red
Leicester style promises comfort, enhanced by the savoury caramel aroma. A firm texture like Scottish tablet delivers warming flavours: sweet milk, caramel, a lifting acidity rounded out with a hint of the butter, which this traditionally cloth-bound cheese is rubbed in.
Bath Soft. Made by Graham Padfield and the team at Park Farm in Somerset (pasteurised cow’s milk, animal rennet). Made to a 19th century local recipe, Bath Soft is a new-old cheese. The snowy white rind envelops a semi-liquid buttery yellow paste, and the aroma is mild and grassy with spicy ammonia. The texture is mouth-coating with a gentle milky flavour, a vegetal finish with a hint of white pepper.
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