Seemingly Chinley’s favourite cheese, Harlech is very recognisable in our fridge in its bright orange wax. It’s a mature cheddar – not too strong, and quite moist – with a real up-your-nose horseradish flavour and flecks of parsley. Thanks to Julie who requested this when we first opened – it was a new one on us, but has been going down a storm ever since.
Following Caws Cenarth‘s Perl Wen, this week we feature their blue offering – Perl Las (meaning blue, as opposed to white, pearl).
Perl Las is a semi-soft, creamy, slightly salty blue. It’s great with leeks that have retained a bit of their crunch, be it in a risotto, with gnocchi or perhaps even in a tart. Or, for the culinary whizzes out there, you could try making Perl Las ice cream, seen here on a cheeseboard.
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.
Perl Wen is a beautiful Welsh organic brie-style cheese, with a fairly firm texture, and a lovely lemon-y flavour giving it a slight tang. I like this one with a smooth fruity jam rather than a chunky acidic chutney. How about filling a crusty baguette with Perl Wen, Hedgerow‘s Spiced Elderberry Jelly, and a handful of rocket?
Caws Cenarth began making cheese in the 1980s following the introduction of milk quotas — check out this photo of Gwynfor and Thelma Adams from back in the day. It’s now their son Carwyn who runs things, and he’s more than happy to receive visitors — there’s a viewing gallery and a chance to taste all their cheeses. That’s going on my holiday list!
The second instalment of our Wales month, this week’s cheese is Y-Fenni.
It’s a Welsh cheddar full of mustard seeds and a generous lug of ale, and makes a great start to a Welsh rarebit. Why not try with a splash of Henderson’s Relish or Lancashire Sauce? Both vegetarian and vegan friendly (unlike another regional sauce, which famously contains anchovies), the former is The Spicy Yorkshire Sauce, flavoured with tamarind & cloves, and the latter Probably the Most Versatile Sauce in the World, mildly spiced with curry flavours like fenugreek and cumin.
The Abergavenny Fine Food Company also make Harlech – cheddar with horseradish and parsley – which has become an ever-present in our fridge following a customer request.
So this week’s COTW, dovetailing with our first DOTM (I can’t move for initialisms at the moment), is Pont Gâr Soft Blue, made by the Camarthenshire Cheese Company (CCC?) in West Wales.
It’s a mould-ripened cheese with a little bit of blue veining. But don’t be fooled – there’s plenty of flavour here (I think the round we’re working through must be a well-aged one). The producers suggest baking it to turn it into a dip – great with crusty bread, and I’d suggest a few sticks of celery too.