Christmas English cheese box
An ash-coated drum with a lovely light, fudgy texture & fresh cobnut flavours. A perfect cheese to start a cheese tasting and also as a lunchtime cheese with crusty bread and salad. A light beer or Muscadet white wine will be good, or indeed a Gamay red.
Farmhouse-made (meaning the milk used is solely from the cattle belonging to the farm, the cheesemaking is done on-site, and the cheeses are matured in their cellars) cloth-bound cheddar. Full-flavoured with a nutty fruity tang and a rich vigorous taste. Somewhat moister than other Somerset cheddars, we prefer the cheeses ripened for at least 12 months, when the depth of flavour broadens and becomes sharper.
Colston Bassett Stilton
With a well-marbled texture, this blue cheese uses traditional rennet – uncommon among Stiltons – producing a nuttier, biscuity edge to what can otherwise veer towards the metallic. The rough, pitted grey-orange rind needs daily brushing to keep mould and cheese mites from encroaching into the pate. And by introducing the blue at a slightly later stage (piercing the rind so that air may circulate within the curds and stimulate the growth of penicillium roqueforti mould) the curds get a little kick-start in maturing – encouraging rounder, more savoury flavours – before the veins impart that delightful spicy blue tang.
Julie Cheyney and Stacey Hedges originally went into business together using milk from a neighbouring farm. Julie has now left Stacey to make Tunworth with a new cheesemaker Charlotte Spruce, as Julie is making her own cheese, St. Jude. Whilst the almost melting edges cling to the fudgy centre with the rind giving a non-invasive taste or aroma, this is a great leap forward for British cheesemaking, taking on French styles of cheesemaking but with a distinctly English edge. Light earthy brassica vegetal notes come through. Perhaps not as nutty or earthy as a Camembert, it is nevertheless a delightful addition to the cheeseboard. Best enjoyed at around 5-6 weeks of maturation.