‘Best of British’ Cheese by Neal’s Yard Dairy
We’ve put together some classic cheeses from the British Isles selected by Neal’s Yard Dairy.
A modern style camembert made in the lush Hampshire countryside by Australian Stacey Hedges & Charlotte Spruce. The rich, sweet & nutty paste combines to bring a unique soft cheese with a distinctive vegetal aroma Raymond Blanc has called it “the best Camembert in the world” – which is high praise coming from a French chef. Tunworth has rich, nutty and milk flavours with a distinct cabbage-like aroma. It has a mouth-filling texture and long finish.
Hampshire Cheeses was founded in 2005 by Stacey Hedges, who is originally from Sydney, Australia. While Stacey was at university, she worked in a Sydney cheese shop and caught the “cheese bug”; twenty years later in England, she started making cheese in her kitchen and decided to fulfil her dream by building a purpose-built creamery. From the beginning, Randolph Hodgson, owner of Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, encouraged her to make a soft, camembert-style cheese, which is now considered to be one of the best in the British Isles.
Stilton is one of the world’s great blue cheeses, along with French Roquefort and Italian Gorgonzola. Colston Bassett Stilton has a rich, buttery texture with a minerally tang. It’s full bodied without being sharp or overpowering, and has a mellow, fruity, savoury complexity.
Stilton was the first English cheese to be granted legal name protection under the PDO* system, and is made by just six producers in the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Of these, the cooperative in the village of Colston Bassett is one of the smallest and takes its milk from just five farms that are very close to the dairy. This particular Colston Bassett Stilton – developed in partnership with Neal’s Yard Dairy in London – is made in the traditional fashion with animal rennet & hand ladled. This results in a cheese with a milder blue character but with a richer, more complex cheese flavour and a longer finish. It’s these differences in production that give our stilton its distinctive crumbly texture with subtle blue veining & a long finish on the palate.
Montgomery’s Cheddar is considered by many to be the quintessential English cloth-bound cheddar. It is matured for at least a year on wooden shelves, which results in a distinctly earthy aroma. It has a drier texture and more complex flavour than most of its counterparts and the flavour is rich, savoury, brothy and meaty, and it has a very long finish.
The Montgomery family has been making cheese for three generations at Manor Farm in Somerset. Unlike most British cheesemakers, the family continued producing cheese throughout World War II. When Jamie Montgomery took over from his mother as head cheesemaker in the mid-1990’s, he was determined to make something different from the rather uniform-flavoured cloth-bound cheddars favoured by supermarkets. Along with several other traditionally-made Cheddars in Somerset, Montgomery’s Cheddar is a Protected Name Cheese under the West Country Farmhouse Cheddar PDO. This guarantees the cheese is made on the farm with farm-sourced milk, that the labour-intensive “cheddaring” process is done by hand, and that the cheese is matured for at least 9 months before sale.
Serves 4 – 6