A Christmas cheeseboard with a difference
For those that want to make a unusual and different cheeseboard this Christmas, or are looking for a gift for cheese-lovers that is a bit different, here are some brilliant, unusual English and Irish cheeses that have all come into prominence in the last two years – modern creations thanks to a reviving farmhouse industry. Each cheese has been hand-selected as being outstanding in its class and will make a change from the traditional cheeses that grace the common cheese platter.
Baron Bigod Brie. Created in early 2012, Jonny and Dulcie Crickmore bought in French cows (Montbeliarde) and a French dairy expert to their farm in order to learn how to make an unpasteurised large Brie that would rival the previously unassailable Brie de Meaux. Two years down the line, and it is every bit as good, if not better and consequently has replaced Brie de Meaux on The Courtyard Dairy’s counter. Well worth looking out for!
Cais Na Tire. Soon after graduating, Barry and Lorraine Cahalan decided they wanted to be dairy farmers. Not having the capital to afford cows they settled for 70 Friesland sheep and started milking them in 2013. Nearby, experienced cheese maker Marion Roeleveld (of Killeen fame) uses their milk to make this sweet, caramelised and toasty, firm sheep’s milk – reminiscent of a mighty fine young Manchego.
Winslade. Winner of Best New Cheese at The British Cheese Awards 2012, Winslade is made as a Camembert/Vacherin Mont d’Or cross – piney, gooey and powerful. Made by the ultra-experienced Stacey Hedges, of Hampshire Cheeses, their sister cheese, Tunworth, has quite rightly become a modern British classic.
Moorland Tomme. Made by Botton Creamery in North Yorkshire. When Alistair Pearson returned to his native Yorkshire from Germany (eloping with a German wife!) he brought back some interesting cheese-making techniques he’d learnt as a farmer over there. Now head cheese-maker at Botton Camphill Community, he has used some of this knowledge to create interesting North Yorkshire Moors cheeses. One of these is Moorland Tomme – at a year old it is firm and nutty with a sharp bite.
Young Buck. Created in 2013, Michael Thomas had a whirlwind tour of the best British cheese makers, from Montogmery’s to Sparkenhoe. Returning to his native Northern Ireland he has created a twist on a Stilton recipe that is an absolute delight of a blue cheese – creamy, rich with a long-lingering flavour.
You can order now for Christmas cheese deliveries!
It is best to order now to ensure your cheese is delivered in time for Christmas. Orders are accepted up to 20th December (for delivery 23rd latest), but Christmas week is a very busy time for couriers, so deliveries at that time can sometimes be delayed. To be on the safe side, therefore, it may be better to order now for a delivery date before 19th December, which should guarantee you’ll receive your order on time. If you place your order now as part of the checkout you can choose a delivery date for the future (i.e. closer to Christmas).
There are more Christmas cheese gift ideas here, and detailed advice know how to create the perfect Christmas cheese platter should click here to suss-out Andy’s tips.
You can view the full range of The Courtyard Dairy’s Christmas cheeses here, or click here to view the pre-set Christmas cheese selections and gift boxes.