Sunday, October 31, 2010

Meeting some of Britain's best cheesemakers

Yesterday I went to Bath to check out the Fine Cheese Co’s Cheese Festival in Milsom Place, an opportunity to meet and buy cheeses from 14 of the best artisanal cheesemakers in the country. The Fine Cheese Co, which is run by Anne-Marie Dyas, is always a step ahead of the game: it was one of the first to sell cheese online, and to come up with matching biscuits and condiments for cheese which are still hard to beat for quality.

There were quite a few cheesemakers whose cheeses I was already familiar with such as Keen’s Cheddar, Bath Soft Cheese, White Lake, Sharpham, Ticklemore and Charlie Westhead of Neal’s Yard Creamery (above) but it was good to meet one of my heroes, Mary Holbrook of Sleight Farm, in person (top of the page) and taste right through her range.

I also got to meet Suzanne Stirke of Fortmayne Dairy in North Yorkshire (above) who makes Richard III, a fine traditional style of Wensleydale (and hope I've managed to persuade her to go on Twitter!).

And I discovered a lovely unpasteurised Red Leicester from David and Jo Clarke of the Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Co. The cheese hasn’t been made in the county for 20 years and not on a farm in the county for over half a century.

The event really underlined what magnificent cheeses we have in this country. I hope it's something the Fine Cheese Co. will sponsor every year.


Alessandra said...

The cheese is getting better and better in the UK!
I was there in June and loved what I saw at the Farmers Market!

I have hopes for NZ...

Fiona Beckett said...

I'm sure New Zealand should be able to make great cheese Alessandra - especially with all those sheep ;-)

Alessandra said...

No much pecorino here Fiona, I can assure you!
Only a few make it, and in small quantities, and difficult to find on the market.