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Seasonal Cheese

Seasonal Cheese

Every cheese has a time of year when it's at its best, whether due to the quality of grass, milking cycle, grazing patterns and maturing times, which all affects the quality of the cheese. So as Spring begins, I’m looking at the seasonal cheese board.

Sheep and goats start producing milk earlier in the year, so you’ll be able to find fresh cheeses from them this month. There’s also a hay-fed cow’s milk cheese, Single Gloucester, that’s been matured for a few short months before it arrives at the market in April.

While you can eat CHEESE at any time of the year, there is no doubt a seasonality about the cheese board. For example, Stilton is best in the early stages of winter after the cows have fed on the lush summer graph and the cheese has matured for a few months. This is why Stilton is so popular at Christmas. 

RAGSTONE GOAT CHEESE - a soft, matured goat’s cheese with a densely fudgy texture and lactic, lemony flavours reminiscent of crème fraiche made by Neal’s yard Dairy.

 

Some other cheeses to try during Spring are Cerney Ash and Chabichou, both delicious soft goats cheeses, Fosse Way Fleece and Ossau Iraty, ewe's milk cheeses from Somerset and The Pyrenees respectively. For cow's milk have a try of Brillat Savarin or Finn. These are cheeses that either have a short maturation time or began maturing at the end of the previous when the grass was still rich and wholesome.

Of our own selection why not try some of our excellent MAIDA VALE ALE WASHED CHEESE. Made by Village Maid in Berkshire. Maida Vale is washed in Treason IPA, from the Uprising Brewery, to develop their russet coats. The paste is as rich, buttery and delectable as you would expect from a Guernsey milk cheese, but the rind delivers an altogether punchier finish.

We have unfortunately reached the end of the season for producing Mont d'Or Vacherin, which is a cheese from the Franche-Comté region made from cows milk produced from 15th August to 31st March. There are strict rules for the production of this cheese. The raw milk can only be from the cows of the Montbéliard and Simmentaler breeds. To shape the Vacherin, it is rounded using a ring of Spruce bark. It is ripened on a Spruce wood board, taking at least three weeks, and is rotated several times before it is placed in its characteristic wooden box.

But whatever cheese you are buying – I really recommend our amazing Toast for Cheese range. Toast is oh so thin, light and crisp, but what makes it unique is that around 60 % of the cracker is composed of fruits, nuts and seeds. Making it oh so fruity, oh so nutty and oh so - well 'seedy'! It’s especially good for rich blue cheeses such as Fourme D'Ambert, Stilton & Gorgonzola Dolce.

 

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