Keen’s Cheddar is a more familiar type of Cheddar to many than some of the other Cheddars we sell. The modern Cheddar consumer often expects a cheese that is creamy in texture with a bright, acidic tang and Keen’s certainly delivers on this. Since the Second World War this has been the flavour profile that much of cheddar production has been geared up to produce.The Keen family have been making Cheddar cheese at Moorhayes Farm in Wincanton, Somerset since 1898, when George and Stephen’s great grandfather John purchased the farm. Since then, cheesemaking skills have been passed down through the generations.
Today both George and Stephen are very hands-on within the farm and are proud to be handing over the reins to the fifth generation. George’s son James makes the cheese and Stephen’s son Nick manages the farm side of the business. Nick recently installed a robotic milking system so the cows can choose for themselves when they are milked. The cheeses the Keens make for us are bound the traditional way in muslin cloth and sealed with lard. We typically sell Keen’s Cheddar when it has been matured for 16 to 18 months.
*Please note that in some instances we may sell a pasteurised format of this cheese. The signage in our shops will always reflect the milk treatment for the batch we are selling, and wholesale labels will specify the pasteurised versions with a (P) after the name.
It can sometimes be hard to know how much cheese to buy. If you are at all unsure please give us a call for some advice. As a general rule of thumb, we would recommend roughly between 100 and 150 grams per person for after dinner, and a bit more if cheese is the focus of the meal.
If you are buying cheese to serve over a couple of days or as part of a buffet, it is advisable to buy a few larger pieces. This will both look better and keep better than many small bits.
To help visualise weights, a good tip is to consider that a regular supermarket pat of butter weighs between 200 and 250 grams.
Farmhouse cheese is handmade and thus varies with each day’s production and changes as it matures. As such it is necessary to apply a common sense approach to cheese care and respond to the cheese you have in front of you, as opposed to following rigid guidelines. Here are some pointers which will help you to ensure you eat your cheese at its best.
We sell our cheese wrapped in waxed cheese paper, which achieves the best possible balance between maintaining humidity around the cheese and allowing it to breathe. We are happy to provide some extra cheese paper, you can add some to your basket by visiting “accompaniments“. If you wrap your cheese in cling film or foil, it can cause the cheese to sweat which will negatively affect the flavour.
Cut pieces of cheese should be kept in the refrigerator to slow the growth of mould on their cut surfaces. However, it is important to be aware that refrigerated cheese is more likely to dry out, particularly if it is not wrapped. The best option is to keep the cheese wrapped in its waxed paper within a box in the fridge. The container will help to prevent the cheese from drying out and prevent the cheese from absorbing flavours.
It is very important not to serve your cheese when it’s too cold as cold cheese can taste bland and inert. As a general rule of thumb you should bring it out of the fridge a few hours before you plan to serve it. You should keep your cheese wrapped whilst it is coming up to room temperature, to avoid any risk of it drying out. If it is especially warm you should reduce the amount of time the cheese is out of the fridge accordingly.