Cheese Shopping Spree at Neal’s Yard Dairy
We will be running a cheese stand at a couple of events this May. Of course, the most important element of this is making sure that we have the very best cheese available. The success of independent cheesemakers in this country is due in no small part to the work of our main suppliers – Neal’s Yard Dairy.
After a long period of decline the UK now has more farmhouse cheeses than France! On a week-to-week basis we rely on our friends at Neal’s Yard Dairy to pick the best of the batch for us. They visit producers regularly to taste and select the finest batches before maturing and caring for them in their maturing rooms. However, for a special event we were invited to Bermondsey, where the maturing rooms are housed in brick railway arches under the main line from London Bridge to Dover.
Never wanting to pass up the opportunity to eat cheese, Lydia and I headed to London on Wednesday 29th April. After a quick lunch with the Neal’s Yard Dairy team (accompanied by a few experimental cheeses), we donned our white coats, hairnets and wellies to enter the maturing rooms. Despite knowing the process behind it, it’s always fascinating to taste the natural variation that occurs between different batches of farmhouse cheeses. A Montgomery’s Cheddar made one week, can have a completely different flavour profile from one made a fortnight earlier. Similarly the different Baron Bigods (our new British brie-style cheese) we tried varied considerably in both taste, appearance and texture.
Several hours and a lot of cheese-tasting later we had picked a pallet load of cheese. It will be arriving at the farm soon so keep an eye out for some impressive displays in the deli. We hope to see you at the Essex Young Farmers County Show (Sunday 17th May) or the EAT Cambridge Food Festival on (Saturday 23rd May)!