Tag Archives: hard cheese

Caws Llain and Lancych Mature

Well, no-one can say that I didn’t get my cheese-worth from my recent ramble around West Wales. Following last week’s Visit to Caws Teifi and the previous post about Y-Fenni, I am back this week with a double bill of Welsh cheesiness from the Caws Cenarth cheesemakers. My eldest son and I visited the farm and watched the cheesemakers in action from the purpose-built viewing room. It’s a great way to see the process, although I felt a bit sorry for them – what if they fancy talking to themselves or scratching their bottom? We chose today’s cheese through the simple process of: we’ll taste everything we can get our hands on in the farm shop and then you can choose one to buy and I’ll choose one. Caws Llain (top picture) is my choice and Lancych Mature (bottom) is my offspring’s:

Caws Llain Caws Cenarth

Lancych Mature

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Y-Fenni

Eek, it’s been quite a while since my last post but, in my defence, I have been on some intrepid cheese travels, exploring the beautiful coast and valleys of West Wales and eating rather a lot of local cheese along the way. More of that soon but first I bring you Y-Fenni, a little number I picked up in a deli in the pastel-pretty seaside village of Aberaeron:

y-fenni cheese

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Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop

It’s Burns Night on Sunday and so what better excuse to mail-order a mahoosive haul of cheese explore another historic Scottish cheese? This time last year I plumped for Caboc, which even its own producer describes as having ‘a taste which should stay in the 1970s’. I have to say I couldn’t disagree with him and so I was hoping for something a little less…ahem…idiosyncratic this time around. The big question though of course remains: will I be able to shoehorn a mention of Robert Burns into this week’s post? So, settle down on your hurdies and get a load of this week’s cheese down your weel-swall’d kytes: I bring you Dunlop.

Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop

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Old Ford

Today’s cheese drew me to it like a fossil in a bed of pebbles. Lurking in a cheese shop, I was disappointed to find that they’d reduced their usual selection to less than a dozen. I was grumpy. I’d tried them all before and, although some of them were great cheeses, that wasn’t going to help me find a new one to write about. I was about to flounce from the shop when one cheese caught my eye. It wasn’t labelled and so I’d overlooked it but it had one of those beautiful rinds that made it look like a millstone or an ammonite. I asked the lady in the shop what it was and, sure enough, it was new to me and one that I’d been wanting to try. Praise be! So here it is, the cheesy siren on the rocks that is Old Ford:

Old Ford cheese

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Wookey Hole Cave-Aged Cheddar

Happy New Year everyone! Okay, I realise I’m a bit on the late side for that but I’ve been so busy lazing about, scoffing festive cheese, that this poor old blog has been a bit neglected. But here I am, pushing away the tumbleweeds and blowing off the cobwebs, ready to start the year afresh. And what better way to leap back into action than with a great big bear of a cheese?

Most cheeses on this blog I forage for but I was lucky enough to be sent this week’s. I received it a week before Christmas, then my parents arrived and my dad took a serious fancy to it, along with the Other Half who hasn’t stop guzzling it. Or indeed myself. But the cheese lives on. It’s like the tardis of cheeses. So here it is (and I must apologise to any cheese pros for the photo as so eager was I to get to the cheese that I cut it in half before I read the label on the bottom telling me not to do just that. Whoopsie):

wookey hole cave-aged cheddar

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Gouda Gold

This blog is about British cheese, I eat huge amounts of British cheese and my fridge is usually groaning with the stuff. I’ve even had to start lurching about in front of an exercise video, such is my dedication to the stuff. But I have a confession to make. Every few weeks I scuttle off to the Italian delicatessen about ten minutes from where I live to buy an aged goat’s cheese from them. I don’t know what it’s called and neither do they (they seemed quite bemused when I asked them). But it’s lovely and I hadn’t found anything resembling it during my British cheese travels. But then, as the year rolled on through all the various cheese awards, I kept hearing about an aged goat gouda, which was hoovering up gongs left, right and centre. I asked its maker if it was available anywhere in the Big Smoke (it isn’t) and she very kindly sent me some to try. Here it is: Gouda gold aged goat gouda ribblesdale cheese Continue reading

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Allerdale

The advantage of living in London is that there are numerous cheese shops which stock a huge variety of British cheeses; the capital has been an epicentre of cheese commerce for centuries, even before Samuel Pepys was being ‘merry’ with a Cheshire cheese in 1660 (must have made a change from his housemaids). But there are also a myriad of cheeses being made all over the British Isles that rarely or never make it to the Big Smoke and are predominantly sold in local shops and farmers’ markets. I know they’re out there but unless I’m on my travels I often never hear about them. Eventually though, a quality local cheese will pack up its belongings Dick Whittington-style and make it down to one of my emporiums of choice and, when it does, I’m waiting, jaws open like a cat near the hole in the skirting board. So it was when this week’s chunk of regional loveliness hit my local shelves. Snap. Gotcha.

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Old Winchester

I am easily confused this week. Off the back of last week’s lurgy, we launched straight into the festivities for my Other Half’s ‘big birthday with a zero on the end’. Six days later my liver is a pulsating rugby ball and my head is filled with cotton wool. The only milk product I really need is milk thistle. So exactly the sort of day that some cheese could sneak up and get me all geographically confused again. First of all there was Shropshire Blue, which I discovered wasn’t made in Shropshire and then there was Appleby’s and their gold-standard Cheshire cheese, which is made in Shropshire, not Cheshire. Stilton, of course, can’t be made in Stilton. And now, here is Old Winchester – which isn’t made in Winchester (although it is sort of nearby, I’ll give them that…)

old winchester cheese
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Pendragon

There are many annoying things about possessing small children but one of the worst has to be the terrible potential for ear-worm. But – wait! – before you start leaving in droves, horrified at a food blog discussing parasites, don’t worry, it’s not like ring worm or tape worm but instead is a term for a catchy piece of music that gets stuck in your head. Children’s television is the worst offender when it comes to embarrassing yourself in polite company by singing about Mr Bloom’s compostarium or Rastamouse’s Da Easy Crew. But the most evil ear-worms of all come from the irrepressibly jaunty Tractor Ted; as a result I can’t think about buffaloes without hearing ‘they’re big, black and slow – the buffalo!’ I had to eat this week’s cheese just to stop me hearing it every time I opened the fridge.

pendragon buffalo cheese
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Devon Oke

Celebrities making cheese is nothing new. Alex James turned his back on the rock lifestyle to give his name to a range of award-winning cheeses before courting controversy by launching a range of cheddars blended with salad cream, tomato ketchup and tikka masala (not altogether, I hasten to add) and a ‘pouring cheese’ called Spudsworthy. Sean Wilson made Martin Platt leave the cobbles and the Rovers Return to make a range of Lancashire cheeses. But could it be that S-Club 7 pop poppet Rachel Stevens had really given up showbiz glamour to get elbow-deep in curd?

Well, no, obviously not. It’s a different Rachel Stevens. In fact it’s Rachel Stephens. But it made a nice intro to this week’s cheese, didn’t it? And, in fact, this week’s choice does have its roots in the world of media, albeit of a somewhat different sort from that which churned out nineties floor-fillers such as Don’t Stop Movin and Bring It All Back. But, first, Ghetto boys, make some noise! Hoochie mamas, show your nanas!* Here is Devon Oke:

devon oke cheese
*No, I have no idea what these lyrics mean either.
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