Our June Cheese of the Month contains:
Martin and Nicola farm sheep and make St James Cheese with their raw milk: all of their milk production is made into the cheese from February to November. Spring is a challenging time for small scale cheesemakers: the cheese tends to be at its most variable but Martin feels it is also at its most flavoursome and interesting – and we agree! You can hear Martin talking to Angela Hartnett and Sheila Dillon about ‘What makes an excellent food producer’ on the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme.
Made by Nicola Robinson and Martin Gott at Holker Farm Dairy in Cumbria.
Raw sheep’s milk, animal rennet.
We have been selling Kirkham’s Lancashire for over 30 years. In the mid-eighties, John Kirkham managed the cows and his wife Ruth made the cheese. Today, their son Graham is at the helm, whose partner Kellie and sons Mike and Shaun are also involved in all aspects of the business. We visit the Kirkhams monthly to taste through all the batches of the cheese that have been made since their last visit, and select the ones we want to buy to sell. Current batches have the signature buttery crumble, and a pleasant citric tang.
Made by Graham Kirkham and team near Goosnargh, Lancashire.
Raw cow’s milk, animal rennet.
Spa Blue is made at our maturing rooms and is a natural rind version of Ben Harris’s cows milk blue cheese Devon Blue. We visited Ben a few weeks ago in Devon to select through various batches of cheese, something we do twice a year. The cheese was tasting delicious, and these fruity sweet cheeses were reminiscent of yoghurt covered raisins! Matured into Spa Blue, they develop a mushroomy creaminess and have a depth of flavour that is quite powerful. Cheesemaker Ben will be visiting our shops next month – keep an eye on our social media to find out when.
Made by Ben Harris in Totnes, and matured into Spa Blue in Bermondsey.
Pasteurised cow’s milk, vegetarian coagulant.
With more than 40 goats kidding between March and the end of April, and a further 33 due to kid in July – thoughts at Norton and Yarrow Cheese have been very much revolved around pregnancy and new life, not least because cheesemaker Rachel also gave birth last month to baby Dorothea. This sense of new life extends to the cheese: Brightwell Ash has only recently graced our shop slates and is the light and refreshing cousin of Sinodun Hill. You can read more about life on the farm at Norton and Yarrow Cheese in our recent blog post on our website.
Made by Rachel Yarrow and Fraser Norton.
Raw goat’s milk, vegetarian coagulant.