This pasteurised farmhouse English cheddar is made from cows milk in Somerset, UK, especially for the Australian market.
Westcombe Cheddar is traditional English clothbound cheddar made the family farm in Somerset - aptly described as ‘toothsome’ by Neal’s Yard Dairy. Its dense texture gives way to a bright, grassy flavour with a delicate and lingering acidity. The long notes of hazelnut, caramel and citrus. The texture is structured and firm, with a smooth breakdown that helps the flavours linger on your palate. Westcombe Cheddar is what’s known in Somerset as a 'five mile cheese', as you’re still tasting it five miles down the road!
In 2019 Tom and his father, Richard, embarked on replacing their cattle breed, moving from Holstein Friesians to heritage breed Shorthorns. Robust and efficient but slower in production, these cattle support the company’s quality direction. In addition to refining his pasteurised Cheddar recipe over the last few years, Tom has also built a state-of-the-art maturation cave deep in the hill behind the dairy. The thick layer of naturally occurring clay insulates the cave, keeping it humid and cool, perfect for Cheddar maturation.
A little history
One of only 3 recognised producers of Artisan Somerset Cheddar by Slow Food, traditional Westcombe Cheddar is unpasteurised, bound in cloth and larded before maturation of 11 – 18 months. It’s been made that way since 1890. Sadly, Australian authorities deny the importation and sale of this unpasteurised cheese but Cheese Maker Tom Calver has been working on a pasteurised recipe for the last few years and in early 2019, announced that it was ready for production.