Tag Archives: sheep’s milk cheese

Olde York

I’m off to Devon for Easter and am looking forward to seeking out some little-known West Country cheeses. However, I’ve become aware recently that my selections have been displaying a distinct southern bias. So, to redress the balance before I go away, to give Margaret at From Pyrenees to Pennines a fighting chance at tracking down a cheese (they stock it in Booths!) and to please my mother, this week’s selection is from Yorkshire:

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Fosse Way Fleece

When choosing a cheese to write about, I always try and mix it up so there’s a variety of styles, animals and places of origin. I thought I’d done pretty well this week, following a cow’s milk cheddar with a sheep’s milk cheese but then it turns out that I’d managed to pick two cheeses made about half a mile away from each other. So, following Barber’s cheddar, come out of the lane, go past the pub, round the corner to the right and up the hill. There you are: this week’s cheese, Fosse Way Fleece:

fosse way fleece

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Nuns of Caen

As part of last Friday’s goat’s cheese paean in honour of Chinese New Year I promised you a ewe’s milk cheese to redress the balance for those who thought we were now entering the Year of the Sheep instead. And, as fate would have it, the lovely folks at online artisan cheese emporium The Cheese Market very kindly sent me a very delicious example of the type indeed. So here, in all its gooey orange loveliness, is Nuns of Caen:

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Homewood Fresh Ewes Cheese

I said last week, didn’t I, that you wait for months on this blog and then three ewe’s milk cheeses come along at once? Well, here’s the third. I didn’t mean to choose another sheepy one this week but then I saw these little pots of strained curd, quite unlike any cheese I’ve tried before, so couldn’t resist buying one. Plus, it’s the season for fresh sheep’s milk cheese, given that they tend to stop producing milk in the winter months. So here is the pot of ovine temptation that lured me in:

Homewood Fresh Ewes Cheese
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Flower Marie

So it seems like soft sheep’s cheeses are like proverbial buses: you wait a year and then two come along at once (yes, that should be three but I think you can have too much of a gooey ovine thing…) This week’s cheese is one that I’ve often spotted in cheese shops but have never bought due to the sheer heft of the thing and the fact you have to buy a whole one. Since starting this blog I’ve had to start walking about 10k a day to avoid turning into one of those people on Channel Five documentaries that have to have the front of their house removed by emergency services to let them out. And I try not to buy pieces of cheese the size of a small house brick. However, the imminent visit of some fellow turophiles gave me the perfect excuse to snap one up this week. So here is Flower Marie:

Flower Marie cheese
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St James

With some cheeses, their reputation precedes them. These are the cheeses that crop up at tastings, the cheeses that hard-core cheese addicts tell you that you have to try, the cheeses that sound a bit maverick and even, dare I say it, sometimes a bit alarming. And so it was with this week’s cheese. Every time I put out a plaintive call for inspiration on Twitter, someone would come back, telling me to try St James. So I tried to but then discovered that it’s a seasonal cheese and it wasn’t available. Then I tried again but realised I needed to make a trip to central London to track it down. It was becoming the stuff of legend. Finally I found it in Neal’s Yard Dairy and captured it, to see if it lived up to the hype:

St James cheese
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May Day Frittata with Hawthorn Leaf Garnish

roasted squash and goat's cheese frittata with hawthorn leaves

It’s May Day this week which has, it turns out, more associations with cheese than you can shake a Morris dancer’s jingly-jangly stick at. Sharing a lineage with the ancient Celtic and Gaelic festivals of Bealltainn, the date traditionally marked the start of the summer season. Cows and sheep were taken up to graze the fresh pastures and milking started again (milking was a ‘May to Michaelmas’ affair back in the seasonal mists of time). Finally the ‘white meats’ (milk, butter and cheese) were back on the menu following the lean winter months.
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