Cheese of the Month Selection

£45.50

Each month we choose four of the cheeses which we think are tasting best. We particularly like to feature cheeses which are in season, as well as batches of cheese which are tasting especially delicious in a particular month. Frequently we have limited quantities of new or experimental cheeses which we introduce to our customers through this selection. You will receive approximately 1.2 kg of cheese. The selection you receive will vary depending on the month you choose for the selection to arrive.

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This month our selection focuses on the importance of time we spend on the road selecting the cheese we want to mature and sell. Two of the cheeses come from farms we visit on our monthly ‘Northern Run’: Berkswell in the West Midlands, Kirkham’s Lancashire in north Lancashire. There are two goat’s cheeses included as we ease into the peak production season: Innes Log from Staffordshire and Cardo from Somerset. These cheesemakers, Joe Bennet and Mary Holbrook respectively, both drive to London to visit us at our maturing arches and deliver their cheese each week. This commitment to direct communication between the maker, the maturer and the seller is integral to the way that we work. The relationships we have with the cheesemakers enable us to work together to continually improve the cheese we sell to you.

KIRKHAM’S LANCASHIRE
Made by Graham Kirkham, in Lancashire. Raw cow’s milk, animal rennet.

Having featured the mature version of this cheese in April’s selection, this month we include the younger version of Graham Kirkham’s cheese, aged for between 2 and 3 months. The two ages of this cheese exhibit flavours that are worlds apart. The younger version you have here has yoghurty, bright and layered flavours and the distinctively fluffy and crumbly texture that we look for upon our visits to Graham and his team at Beesley Farm. The batches we are sending out this month are also demonstrating fruity flavours of banana and mango alongside their typical and satisfying balance of citric and savoury notes.

BERKSWELL
Made by Julie Hay and the Fletcher family in the West Midlands. Raw sheep’s milk, animal rennet.

Seasonality often brings surprises in cheese. The current batches of Berkswell are decidedly different to the cheeses we have been used to; the paste is moist and creamy, with none of the usual granular, flaky texture. On our recent trip to Ram Hall Farm we were delighted with what we were tasting; flavours were mellow and fruity with a savoury, nutty note. These January cheeses are now in our hands and we are pleased to be able to send out to you such an interesting example of this cheese: smooth in texture, savoury in flavour and with a brightness that marks them out as truly exceptional.

CARDO
Made by Mary Holbrook in Somerset. Raw goat’s milk, cardoon stamen infusion.

Mary Holbrook, recently named ‘the reluctant guru of goat’s cheese’ in the Observer Food Monthly typically makes Cardo between April and October. Mary brings the cheeses to our maturing arches in Bermondsey herself when they are less than a week old. Here, they are washed (often by Mary herself as she works with our maturing team on Wednesdays), either simply with water or a light saline solution. They are stored in humid rooms to encourage the growth of the pink tacky rind. The cheese ripens from the outside in, resulting in a paste which is firmer and more acidic towards the core, with an oozy breakdown at the rind. Current batches taste meaty and punchy, with the rind bringing a pleasantly crunchy bite; a must try!

INNES LOG
Made by Joe Bennett in Staffordshire. Raw goat’s milk, animal rennet.

Innes Log is the result of a partnership between Joe Bennett and the Neal’s Yard Dairy maturation team. Joe’s cheese arrives with us at only a few days old, delivered fresh and young each Friday morning by him and partner Amy. We then have a weekly tasting and troubleshooting session with them which has helped the cheese evolve. It is now one of our best-sellers. Flavours are bright and savoury, with a slightly yeasty flavour coming from the vegetable ash rind. The texture is dense and fudgey.

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.

Weight 1200 g