Olivia Sutton speaks directly with staff at Neal’s Yard to select specific batches of cheese, giving greater control over the product that is sold over the counter at Harper & Blohm.
Included in the range is the famous Montgomery’s Cheddar,regarded as the King of Cheddar and thought to be one of only three truly traditional cheddars still in production today. Hailing from Somerset, Montgomery’s is hand-made and aged for a minimum of 12 months. Due to strict Australian regulations, a pasteurised version of Montgomery’s has been developed for the Australian market (and those in the know assert that there is little to no variation in flavour from its English counterpart).
From County Cork in Ireland comes Coolea—a gouda style cheese by a producer called Dick Willems, whose family emigrated from Holland to Ireland in the 1970s. Using the same techniques as in Holland, the producer makes two kinds of Coolea: one that is intended to be eaten young, and the other that will be aged longer. The latter is what Neal’s Yard Dairy procure. Complexity of flavour abounds with this delightful cheese, only improving with time spent in maturation caves.
Tunworthis a Camembert-style soft cheese created specifically for Neal’s Yard Dairy in Hampshire, England by Australian Stacey Hedges, and her business partner Charlotte Spruce. Using milk from a pedigree herd of Holstein cows, Tunworth has the classic vegetal, lightly truffled flavour of traditional Camembert.
Another Irish cheese makes an appearance in the range in the form of Durrus: a soft washed rind make on the wild southern Irish coast by Jeffa Gill. With a robust, leathery rind, the flavour of Durrus is both peppery and meaty, but also sweet and milky. A wonderful example of how Irish cheese making has adapted traditional techniques to produce cheeses that belie their Celtic heritage.