Cote Hill Blue
Soft, creamy, delicate.
With the price of liquid milk falling, Michael and Mary realised their farm had to diversify if it was survive. After a short course in cheese-making, they invented Britain’s first unpasteurised, soft, blue brie-style cheese: Cote Hill Blue.
More about this
Mary and Michael Davenport are tenancy farmers of the small Cote Hill Farm in Lincolnshire, with only 70 cows made up of Friesians, Red Poll and Swiss Brown breeds. Michael’s father set up the farm many years ago, but Michael and his wife Mary (and his Mum, now nearing 100 years old and still on the farm) soon took over to farm the 180 acres. They farm this traditionally, with small fields, hedgerows, cows out at pasture and diverse grasses. But in the early 2000s the the price of milk fell dramatically and the Davenports knew they would either have to add value to their milk or give up dairy farming.
So in 2005 they went on a short cheese-making course and decided to give cheese-making a go. They both liked blue cheese, and also didn’t want to compete with their neighbours who make the fabulous Lincolnshire Poacher hard cheese. Noticing there was a gap in the market for a soft unpasteurised blue cheese, they went to great lengths to develop what is recognised as a notoriously hard cheese to make (there was a reason for the gap in the market!) Cote Hill Blue was the outcome – a soft, rich blue given a lovely distinctive and unusual taste by the quality of their unpasteurised milk.
Made with the morning’s fresh milk, they cut and hand-stir the curds gently before ladling by hand and allowing it to drain. At 2-3 weeks old it is pierced with holes to allow the air in and the blue mould to form (Mary can’t do this bit – she is allergic to the mould spores!!) The cheese is then matured for a further 2-3 weeks to soften until oozing…
The success of their cheese has allowed two of their sons (Ross and Joe) to return to the family farm to work; they are also involved in the cheese-making and farming alongside their parents.
Find out more about Cote Hill Blue in these blogs:
- The story of Cote Hill Blue from farmers to award-winning cheese-makers!
- Creating a modern British blue: Cote Hill.
What weight to buy?
100g in total of cheese per person for consumption after a meal. For comparison, 250g is similar in size to standard pack of butter.
This product will have two weeks’ shelf life from the date of delivery. Conveniently, at checkout you can choose a delivery date even well in the future if you would like your cheese delivering for a specific event.
Ingredients: Milk, salt, cheese cultures and rennet.