Savoury, rich, sweet.
An unusual find: a washed-rind sheep’s cheese. The flavoursome milk of the Lacaune breed of sheep produces an incredible cheese as St James breaks down, varying from soft with savoury, meaty flavours to firmer with a creamy, rich sweetness.
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Still seasonal, St James cheese comes into its own after lambing, when the milk flows. The Gott’s most famous creation, St James is made using the milk from their 100 Lacaune sheep on Holker Farm. Martin Gott helped famous cheese-maker James Aldridge (pioneer of ‘washed rind’ cheeses in Britain) on his family farm when he was 16 and then left to carry out apprenticeships at Kirkham’s Lancashire and Sleight Farm (with Mary Holbrook).
There he kept sheep and started experimenting with making a sheep’s milk cheese. In 2006 Martin and his partner, Nicola Robinson, returned to Cumbria to set-up by themselves on the Holker Estate. After some traumatic times (including having to cull their whole herd), St James cheese was born and has quickly become a modern classic. The cheese is a washed-rind cheese (like the greats of Epoisses, Stinking Bishop, Munster and Livarot) which involves washing the rind of the cheese to develop orange-taint bacteria on the rind which in turn produces rich savoury flavours.
Martin and Nicola use a non-intensive method of farming: the sheep graze the rich fields of the Holker Estate Farm and are only milked once a day, making for a less-stressed animal and a better-quality milk. The cheese is made naturally using homemade starter cultures, to truly capture their terroir.
Please note: St James is made on a very small scale and that means batches can vary in flavour and texture (from soft and oozing, to firm and chalky). If you’d like to find out how the current batches are tasting, please phone, but rest assured that whatever the style, the cheese will always be delicious… and quintessentially St James.
Interested to know more? Read this interview with Martin Gott.
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.