Cheesemaker Rob Howard looks to historical sources for inspiration, and makes Hafod according to methods described in the classic manual Practical Cheddar Cheese-making, written in 1917.
Our work with this cheese
We visit Holden Farm Dairy three times a year, tasting four months' worth of cheese at around 6-10 months of age. We also taste very young cheeses, helping Rob to collect information on the impact of his recent experiments. He then uses this information to guide the evolution of the methods. Sam and Rachel Holden have been making Hafod on Sam's father Patrick's farm near Lampeter, Ceredigion since August 2007. The cheese is now made by Tessa and her team at the farm of Patrick and Becky Holden near Ceredigion in Wales.
Formerly a clothbound cheddar, Becky Holden and Rob Howard (now making cheese at Westcombe Dairy) began experimenting with natural-rinded cheeses a couple of years ago, to see the impact of the cloth. They found they, along with Neal's Yard Dairy's buying team, preferred the flavour development of those cheeses that were not clothbound. This led to the decision to produce only natural-rinded cheeses from February 2019 onwards.