Amazing, well-developed, rich Cheddar. Alastair only makes a small amount of Dale End Cheddar: full-flavoured, quality unpasteurised milk is collected from the community’s 46 Dairy Shorthorn cows (a traditional Craven breed known for the superb quality of their milk).
Alastair, a local lad who worked at Botton, travelled to Germany to learn his cheese-making trade. Using the Dairy Shorthorn’s rich, yellow milk Alastair makes a traditional clothbound Cheddar. Andy Swinscoe met Alastair by chance on a cheese-making course several years ago, when Alastair was trying to perfect Dale End Cheddar. Botton Creamery also make the Moorland Tomme and Yorkshire Gouda.
When The Courtyard Dairy set up in North Yorkshire, Andy visited Alastair and discovered that his cheese was relatively unknown and only sold locally. The Courtyard Dairy decided to stock the Cheddar and age it to 18-months old, by which time it is rich, with a sharp Cheddar bite.
Dale End Cheddar is made by a Camphill Community in Botton Village. Camphill Communities are a social enterprise for people with learning disabilities, mental health problems and other special needs. The community has over 130 residents, is set in the wild and beautiful North Yorkshire Moors and is fully self-sustainable and biodynamic. Each of the residents has a job: working on the farms, helping Alastair to make and age his cheese, or in other roles (the local store, wood workshops, making preserves and baking bread).
Read about The Courtyard Dairy's visit to Botton Creamery to see how the cheese is made and tell this amazing story by clicking here, or click here see recipes using the Dale End Cheddar (including one from Paul Hollywood and featured on BBC series Pies & Puds).
The individual Dale End mini-truckles are made in the same way but to a smaller size (900g - 1Kg) and come individually cloth-bound.