We’re very excited to have got our hands on some Ogleshield – Montgomery Cheddar’s softer, washed-rind, Jersey milk cousin. Ok so they’re not much alike, but they are made at the same place.
Made with fattier milk from a herd of Jersey cows, the cheese is then washed in brine every three days. It has a fruity flavour and a supple texture. It’s great for cooking, raclette-style or otherwise, but also a tasty nibble in its own right – a less gooey alternative to some other washed-rind cheeses.
Gorwydd (pronounced Gor-with) Caerphilly is a mature caerphilly produced by the Trethowan family. It used to be made on Gorwydd Farm in the Welsh mountains, but the dairy has now moved over the border to Somerset. It’s made according to a traditional recipe with raw unpasteurised cow’s milk and a traditional animal rennet. However, unlike traditional caerphilly that was sold young, Gorwydd is matured for three months. This maturation allows texture to develop through the cheese: a natural rind, surrounding a creamy mushroomy layer, with a crumbly lemony centre.
Gorwydd has won all sorts of awards. Most recently, “Super Gold” at the 2016 World Cheese Awards in San Sebastián, making it one of the top 66 cheeses in the world.
Berkswell is a hard ewe’s milk cheese made at Ram Hall farm in the West Midlands. With its distinctive (if slightly awkward for us cheese-cutters) shape, it’s dry with a grainy texture, and a sweet, nutty flavour. You can treat it like a manchego and tuck in to hunks of it with bread and quince jelly, or like a pecorino and shave it onto salads, green veg, poached eggs or pasta.
There’s a great article about the cheese – with some cool pics of how it gets its shape – here
Another Piedmontese cheese this week. Margot Beer Cheese is made with the milk of rare breed Pezzata Rossa d’Oropa cattle, adding Margot craft blonde ale to the curds. The result is a mild, semi-soft cheese with a patchwork of fine holes and a subtle beer flavour. The rind (not edible) takes on a yellow hue as it matures. We have 350g rounds (ours look oddly like pork pies, such is the toughness of the rind), available whole or in smaller portions as required.
This week’s COTW is another cheese hailing from Northwest Italy – Taleggio, made by Mario Costa in Novara, Piedmont. It’s a semisoft, washed-rind, smear-ripened cheese, with an oozing texture and a tangy, fruity, almost truffle-y aftertaste.
Taleggio is a lovely cheese to melt – great with other North Italian staples like risotto and polenta. I’m looking forward to trying it grilled on Grains‘ focaccia (our first delivery arrives next weekend on 22nd April), and drizzled with some Brock & Morten truffle oil.
We also have a couple of wines from the Tenuta Il Bosco estate, in the Oltrepò Pavese area of Lombardy. The Bonarda is a little unusual, being a slightly pétillant (that’s lightly fizzy to you and me) red wine (Croatina grapes). It’s fruity, dry, and best served a little chilled. The Brera is a fresh Riesling with apple and pear flavours.
This month we’re off to Northwest Italy for our inspiration, and this week’s cheese is Robiola Bosina – a mixed milk cheese from Piedmont. Made with both cow’s and sheep’s milk, it comes in mould-ripened squares that can turn pretty gooey as the cheese ripens. It’s pale in colour and creamy in texture, with a fresh, slightly sweet flavour. Unlike a lot of cheeses, I like it straight out of the fridge, a little chilled, but you might prefer it extra-runny once warmed to room temperature.
Look out for a few more Italian goodies creeping into the shop in the coming weeks.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce our special “Cheese of the Fortnight” – Montgomery’s Cheddar. Yes, that’s right, my namesake in the cheese world. And, as you won’t be at all surprised to hear, I think it’s a good ‘un.
Montgomery’s Cheddar is a handmade unpasteurised cheese made (with animal rennet) in North Cadbury, Somerset. To say we’ve struggled to find a good strong cheddar to slot into our cheese selection is putting it a bit high, but I wasn’t so Keen on Keen’s (another West Country Cheddar); Lincolnshire Poacher is a solid option, though I prefer the Double Barrel extra mature version.
Montgomery’s, however, is impressive. A strong cheddar, with a real depth of flavour and an unusually dry texture (due to the curds being shredded with an old-fashioned peg mill, rather than sliced). Watch out for the odd blue vein – a sign of a traditional cheddar, matured in cloth rather than plastic.
Fantastic with our Miller’s Ale crackers, which add bite from their thick cut and their hoppy, slightly sour taste.