Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
If you’re a literary sort, then the name Adlestrop might mean to you a poem by Edward Thomas that evokes the last hot, indolent English summer before the outbreak of the First World War. The poem was inspired by an impromptu train stop at the village of Adlestrop, which is in Gloucestershire, just a couple of miles from the makers of…
Adlestrop is a semi-soft, pasteurised cow’s milk cheese made by Daylesford Organic in Gloucestershire. Daylesford was started in the 1980s when Carole Bamford, wife of JCB chairman Lord Bamford, converted the family’s farms in Gloucestershire and Staffordshire over to organic production. The dairy was conceived by an American cheesemaker, Joe Schneider, whose interesting cheese journey had led him to be making Greek Feta for a Turkish employer in Holland, amongst other things. Whilst at Daylesford, Joe developed what was to become their flagship product, Daylesford Cheddar. Latterly, he has been working with Randolph Hodgson to produce Stichelton, an unpasteurised ‘Stilton’.
Adlestrop is made from the organic milk of the farm’s own herd of traditional British Friesians which travels just 30 metres from the milking parlour to the creamery. The cheese was developed by James McCall during his time as cheesemaker at Daylesford (who, in another cheese family tree branch, worked with James Aldridge to develop Tornegus, which I wrote about recently). Like Tornegus, Adlestrop is a washed rind cheese, which means that it is regularly bathed in a solution containing cultures that promote the growth of its orange, sometimes sticky, rind (see also Brewer’s Gold, Stinking Bishop and Celtic Promise).
The cheese is one that makes its presence known, usually when you open the fridge door. As with all washed rinds, it’s by no means shy and retiring. Beneath the pungent rind, the middle of the cheese is pale, soft and ever so slightly crumbly with a fairly strong but pleasant taste. Towards the rind, the texture is denser, almost rubbery and the taste changes to include elements of the rind. It’s not a scary cheese, though; the Other Half, who is not a fan of many washed rinds, gave it the thumbs up, which is high praise indeed.
And the rest of the poem? Well, I’ve probably already infringed fifty shades of copyright just by including the beginning but it’s a lovely piece, made all the more poignant by the fact that Edward Thomas was to die in action just three years later, so do go and check it out here.