Tag Archives: cotherstone

Swaledale PDO

Anyone who grew up in Britain in the seventies or eighties will remember Sunday night TV for one thing: James Herriot driving his Austin 7 through the Yorkshire Dales to the sounds of a soaring, tinkling piano soundtrack. All Creatures Great and Small had a huge effect on me as a child and inspired two ambitions: one, to become a vet and two, to play the piano. The first ambition was swiftly crushed come GCSE time when half of my teachers ganged up to inform me that I was hopeless at science and should do something arty-farty instead. The second was more fruitful and I taught myself to play the entire theme tune from scratch. It remains the only piano piece I have ever played (aside from Beverley Craven’s ‘Promise Me’, but let’s draw a veil over that).

I digress. I chose this week’s cheese because it epitomises the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales. Its history and substance is so intertwined with the area, from the cows and sheep that pepper the hills and valleys to the dry stone walls which its very rind resembles. I’ve even put it on a grassy-green plate this week, because it seemed somehow to belong there:

Swaledale Cheese PDO
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Selecting which cheese to try next is always a fairly random occasion. Sometimes I like the name (Baron BIGOD!), sometimes I like the history (Single Gloucester PDO), sometimes I feel guilty about not eating cheese from a particular area (Teifi) and sometimes, if I am feeling particularly organised, I try and tie it in to an occasion (Caboc). But, feeling devoid of inspiration a few weeks ago, I put out a plaintive call on Twitter for cheese suggestions. One was from someone who works at Neal’s Yard Dairy who suggested Cotherstone because ‘It’s a great cheese, often overlooked and pretty rare…May not be around for ever either. Go grab some!’ I then heard it described as ‘the closest that British cheese-making has to a living fossil’. All in all, it sounded like a cheese to hunt down.

Here it is, the shy, retiring, winsome beauty that is Cotherstone:

Cotherstone cheese

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