A Taste of the Dales

Three cheeses from three farms, made to one very similar recipe.

  • Unpasteurised
  • Cows' Milk

Stonebeck is now out of season, this selection will return June 2024.  Until then, why not try the Traditional British Selection >

A showcase of just how different farmhouse cheese can be: these three farms make an old-fashioned Dales-style cheese (similar to pre-War Wensleydale) all taking influence from an old 1930’s Government Ministry of Agriculture Bulletin on how to make Wensleydale cheese.
The results are quite different: all in a similar vein but distinctly different, showcasing a variety of characteristics from fresh, acidic and crumbly notes to moist and supple textures and rich, multi-layered complex flavours.
You can really taste the terroir of the Yorkshire Dales and how each farm expresses those differences – each is a celebration of just why farmhouse cheese is so wonderful.

More about this

When The Courtyard Dairy was set up, there was not one farm-cheese-maker within 20 miles.  And no-one was making the old-fashioned cheese recipes traditional to the Dales area.  However in the last five years, three different farms have set-up making cheese with a bit of help and advice from The Courtyard Dairy.

In keeping with trying to reinvigorate farming and traditions of the area, Andy Swinscoe encouraged all three farms to make an old-fashioned Dales-style cheese (similar to pre-War Wensleydale) and shared with them a recipe from a 1930’s Government Ministry of Agriculture Bulletin on how to make Wensleydale cheese.

Each farm took a copy of the recipe, and, with other advice, support and guidance from Andy, set about making the old-fashioned Wensleydale (moister, less crumbly and richer then the post-War Wensleydale so popular today).

Each farm’s cheese evolved slightly differently, because of the varied nature of their pasture, farming methods, cow breeds, equipment they used, etc.

In this special selection box you can taste all three cheeses and truly see the fabulous diversity of farmhouse cheese.  Three different farms set out to make the same cheese, and instead each ended up with a unique cheese that is a true reflection of their farm.  This is the wonderfulness of farm-made cheese: each ‘Wensleydale’ tastes fabulous, but each is very different from the others.

This cheese selection includes:

Stonebeck.  Unpasteurised cows’ milk. 250g.  Made by the Hattan family in Nidderdale.
Stonebeck cheese offers a glimpse into the historic cheese past of the Yorkshire Dales.  It is made seasonally (only spring-autumn when cows are out at pasture) with milk from the Northern Dairy Shorthorn, a native breed of cow, fed on the diverse pasture and wildflower hay meadows.  The end result at three-months old is gentle cheese that has a rich, long, complex and multi-layered flavour, with pliant-yet-crumbly texture.

Fellstone.  Unpasteurised cows’ milk. 250g.  Made by Tom & Clare Noblet in Lunesdale.
Tom and Clare Noblet started to make cheese in 2015 on their dairy farm on the edge of the Lake District.  Based on a traditional old ‘Dales’ recipe of the north of England, Fellstone is aged for three months by which time it has the fresh lemony-lactic flavours of a good Wensleydale, with a firmer texture.

Yoredale (Old Roan).  Unpasteurised cows’ milk. 250g.  Made by Sam, Adam & Ben Spence in Wensleydale.
In 1957 the single last farmer producing Wensleydale cheese in the Yorkshire Dales gave up. Over 50 years later in July 2019, third generation dairy farmers, Ben and Sam Spence re-started that tradition in the heart of Wensleydale.  Using fresh milk from local cows, they make an old-fashioned Wensleydale cheese, not quite as crumbly as its modern relations, with a fresh, sharp yet light flavour and supple creamy texture.

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 in cheeses: Milk, salt, cheese cultures and rennet.

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