Mon 30 Sep 2013

Undiscovered British Cheeses


It’s currently British Food Fortnight, and with this in mind we are delighted to host this guest blog post from Ruth Raskin at The Fine Cheese Co. (suppliers to The Society’s gift range for a number of years), who highlights a number of innovative cheeses for adventurous palates to explore.

To find the perfect accompanying bottle for any of the below, The Society’s popular interactive Food and Wine Matcher has suggested wine pairings for a wide variety of cheeses. Look out for more goodies from the Fine Cheese Co. in our forthcoming 2013 Christmas Gifts collection, which will be available from mid-October.

Fine Cheese Co.jpeg

Here at The Fine Cheese Co. we are constantly thrilled by the amazing creative energy of our British cheese makers. Never content to rest on their laurels, they are always seeking new ways to delight us with their latest creations. Here are some of our new favourite cheeses by our old favourite cheese makers:

Burwash Rose
Burwash RoseMade by the Dyball family at The Traditional Cheese Dairy. The Dyballs have built up an excellent reputation for hard cheeses such as their Olde Sussex and Lord of the Hundreds but have long wanted to add a soft cheese to their repertoire. After much experimentation and development, the result is Burwash Rose, inspired by the kind of cheeses that would have been made by monks in monasteries centuries ago. The monks were not allowed to eat meat on Fridays or holidays and with over a hundred of these a year, a delicious cheese must have seemed like manna from heaven.
Burwash Rose has a supple, silky texture and a smooth finish. Its sticky pink rind and distinct aroma is produced by regular washing in English rosewater which also lends the cheese a delicately floral aspect.
The Dyball family acquired the Traditional Cheese Dairy in the village of Stonegate, East Sussex in November 2002 after turning their backs on a life of insurance broking and banking. The family are passionate about producing high quality, handmade, traditional cheeses using only raw milk from single farm herds and produce several of our favourite cheeses. They are equally passionate about animal welfare and have recently received a Good Dairy Commendation by the globally respected farm animal welfare organisation Compassion in World Farming.

This is a new cheese made by one of the oldest dairies in the country. The Skailes family have been making Stilton at Cropwell Bishop in Nottinghamshire for more than three generations. As a maker of the most traditional of British cheeses, the decision to experiment with a new style of cheese was quite a departure. Robin, one of the latest generation, has been tinkering with and perfecting the recipe for two years and is now finally happy to release it. The aim was to make a cheese inspired by the softer, milder Continental cheeses like Gorgonzola Dolce. The cheese is hand ladled into wider, shallower moulds and the cultures used to develop the blue are much milder strains than those used in Stilton. Instead of rubbing up the outside to create the characteristic rind of a Stilton, the cheeses are left to develop a thin crust. The resulting cheese is sweet and creamy with a buttery texture and a slight salty tang to the finish.

Pete Humphries

Pete Humphries

One of the many cheeses made by Pete Humphries of White Lake Cheese. Pete just can’t stop himself from experimenting and is always playing with his recipes to create a new cheese. Although Pete makes cheese in the very heart of Cheddar country just outside of Glastonbury, most of his cheeses are made with goats’ milk. His dairy is based at Bagborough Farm, home to 600 goats whose milk is transformed into Pete’s delicious cheeses. Tor, one of his most recent creations, is named after the famous Glastonbuy Tor which rises magnificently from the Somerset Levels. Tor resembles its namesake in shape. It is coated in ash, has a smooth, close textured interior and a light delicate taste which matures to a deeper tang.

Fearn Abbey
Rory Stone took over cheese making on the family farm in windswept Tain, Easter Ross, in the late 90s. The dairy had been established in the 60s but at the time his mother was only making the traditional Scottish cream cheeses, Crowdie and Caboc. Rory loves to experiment and so slowly added to this by developing a brie-style cheese, and the increasingly well-known Strathdon Blue.
Recently he has been able to source ewes’ milk from a local crofter and has adapted his original brie recipe to the richer ewes’ milk to create a vegetal, velvety brie.
The cheese is named after the local Fearn Abbey which dates back to 1221.

Ruth Raskin
The Fine Cheese Co.

Categories : Miscellaneous


  1. Gerald Milner says:

    I am delighted to learn about little-known English cheeses. There must be many more!

  2. Simon Clark says:

    The Beauvale sounds lovely. Have you tried he goats cheeses from (sp) Brock Hall Farm? Dutch Mistress is my fave with wine…..

  3. Ishbel Gall says:

    “Rory Stone took over cheese making on the family farm in windswept Tain, Invernesshire”

    Tain is in fact in Ross-shire, Easter Ross, and benefits from the mild micro climate of the Dornoch Firth which claims to have the least rainfall and most prolonged sunshine in Scotland. The Stone family cheeses are well worth sampling.

Leave a comment