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#50: Yorkshire Pecorino Fresco

Pecorino is Italian sheep’s cheese: “pecora” means “sheep” in Italian. When I think of pecorino, I think of a hard, aged, nutty cheese, much like our Berkswell Ewe. That’s because stagionato (seasoned = aged) cheeses travel well, and are the varieties normally exported. But within Italy fresco (fresh = young) are also made, but rarely exported.

Mario Olianas is from Sardinia, but now lives in Leeds. He makes a classic Pecorino Fresco using milk from Harrogate and cultures from Italy. It’s only 30 days old, and is smooth, yogurty and sweet. Come enjoy our finest Italian Leodensian cheese.

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#34(&35): Yorkshire Fettle

This ewe’s milk cheese is a Mediterranean salad style cheese from Shepherd’s Purse in North Yorkshire – definitely not feta as it’s not Greek.

Hand-salted and then hand-waxed to seal in the moisture, it comes without any excess briny liquid, and is less salty and has a firmer, creamier texture than many of its Greek counterparts.

How about it trying it in a beetroot and hazelnut salad, as recommended by its creator Judy Bell?

I’m on holiday next week folks, so there’ll be a gap in my Cheese-of-the-Weeking.

Monty xx

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#32: Berkswell Ewe

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

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#30: Crozier Blue

Crozier Blue is made by the Grubb family in Tipperary. You may be more familiar with Cashel Blue – their semi-soft cow’s milk blue  – but this one is their sheep’s milk cheese, and is in fact Ireland’s only sheep’s milk blue.

It has an off-white colour common to sheep’s cheeses, a modest amount of grey-blue veining, and a natural rind. Matured for longer than Cashel, it has a more traditional blue flavour complemented by the creaminess of the sheep’s milk. For those familiar with Mrs Bell’s, another sheep’s milk blue we’ve regularly had in the shop, I find Crozier creamier and a little less salty.

Let us know which you prefer.
Monty xx

PS have you seen me in the shop window? Think I may have enjoyed a few too many cheeses since the shop opened…

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#21: Mrs Bell’s Blue


Like Olde York last week, this is another ewe’s milk offering from Shepherd’s Purse. Pale white in colour and streaked with blue-grey veins, Mrs Bell’s Blue is a piquant blue not dissimilar to Roquefort, but with more creaminess and less saltiness. It has a pleasant tang that goes well with fruits.


It also makes a nice contrast to our Gorgonzola Dolce, which is a younger, fruitier cow’s milk blue I’ve been enjoying with quince jelly. Come in and try both!

Monty xx

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#20: Olde York

Olde York is one of our ever popular ewe’s milk cheeses, made by Shepherd’s Purse in Yorkshire. Judy Bell (who also makes – you guessed it – Mrs Bell’s Blue, among other things) began producing cheese from sheep’s milk in the 1980s – Olde York won Gold at the 1989 Nantwich International Cheese Awards and has been going ever since.

A really fresh-tasting cheese, cuttable but quite soft, I like it with smoked salmon, although the ladies at Shepherd’s Purse go one step further in the decadence stakes and suggest strawberries and champagne…

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#15: Brefu Bach

We are delighted to have secured ourselves a small supply of Brefu Bach, winner of Best New Cheese at the British Cheese Awards 2016.

Brefu Bach, or Little Bleat, is a delicious ewe’s milk cheese made by Cosyn Cymru, a small producer in the foothills of Snowdonia. Made with vegetarian rennet derived from thistle extract, it reminds me a little of chèvre in appearance and texture, given its rind, but not in taste -it’s really gentle and creamy, with a slight sourness, and no “goatiness” at all.

As well as cheese, we have also had another delivery of Welsh food and drink, including these little tiddlers from the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company – fish-shaped crackers made with seaweed and Halen Môn sea salt. Great as something a bit different on a cheese platter.

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#6: Staffordshire Whitmore Sheep’s

Hello hello

New in this past week is Staffordshire Whitmore – an unpasteurised, organic, ewe’s milk cheese made in Acton, near Newcastle-under-Lyme (less than 40 miles away), by M&B Deaville & Son, who also make our Staffordshire mature cheddar (with or without wild garlic).

It’s a kind of a sheep’s cheese parmesan – not dissimilar to Berkswell, which has been going down a treat since we opened, but sweeter in flavour and less dry in texture, making it a bit easier as a cheese to nibble.

We think this will go nicely with our Daddy Cool’s Tomato and Chilli Chutney, which is moist and tangy to go with the hardness of the cheese. Daddy Cool’s is even closer to home, made in Tintwistle, Glossop. The Tomato and Chilli Chutney is medium heat, but we also have mild or (super)hot – Garlic and Papaya Pickle and Superhot Cranberry Naga Pickle respectively – as well as a range of Daddy Cool’s sauces.