I Stand By Kirkham’s Lancashire Box
Buttery, yoghurty, light.
Believe in raw milk cheese?
Want to support Graham Kirkham, the last maker of raw milk Lancashire?
You can show that support – it’s simple – eat some Lancashire cheese.
To support Graham, The Courtyard Dairy will pass 100% of money from the cheese sold in these boxes direct to the Kirkham’s.
This special ‘Stand by Kirkham’s’ box includes 2 deliveries:
- 500g wedge of Kirkham’s Lancashire delivered this coming week,
- 500g delivered in May/June (you’ll be contacted to arrange a suitable date).
You’ll also be one of the select few to receive a ‘I ❤️ Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire‘ pin badge to show that YOU stood by Graham Kirkham and his family.
More about this
Made by the Kirkham family in the village of Goosnargh near Longridge.
Graham learnt to make Lancashire cheese from his mother (the famous Mrs Kirkham) who learnt from her mother, and there is an even longer history of cheese-making in the Kirkham family.
Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese is the last and only farmhouse Lancashire made from unpasteurised milk. The history of Lancashire cheese dates back to the 13th century but it fell out of favour in recent generations. It was even banned during the second world war, as it was inefficient to make compare with other recipes like Cheshire and Cheddar – the 200 farm producers in 1939 simply stopping producing creamy Lancashire.
The Kirkham family have continued to make both creamy (aged up to 12 weeks) and tasty (aged over 12 weeks) Lancashire cheese. This is a more traditional version of Lancashire than the crumbly Lancashire now made by many modern dairies. The modern dairy version was an invention to speed up the process of making cheese by making a drier, more crumbly, tart cheese.
Traditional creamy and tasty Lancashire is made over two-days (or sometimes even three or four). It involves using curd from both days (this method originated because some small farmers in Lancashire did not have a big enough herd to make cheese on one day, so would combine several days’-worth of curd). Using the two-day curd method produces a rich yet light and fluffy texture, and helps develop the yoghurty, fresh acidic flavours.
Kirkham’s Lancashire is then traditionally clothbound and ‘buttered-up’ (enclosing the cheese in a buttered cloth to enable it to breath) and aged for 3-6 months.
Over recent years Graham Kirkham has expanded output (increasing the herd from 40 to 100 cows), built a new dairy and returned to even more traditional ways of making Lancashire cheese, producing a lactic, yoghurty-buttery flavour with a fluffy texture that melts in the mouth. This gives Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese the ‘buttery crumble’ that Lancashire folk love! Graham’s favourite way to cook his cheese is the way his Mum (Mrs Kirkham) taught him – ‘Cheesey Eggs’, click here to read the recipe.
Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese at The Courtyard Dairy comes from traditional, large 25kg truckles. Made to order for The Courtyard Dairy, these larger cheeses are more traditional and age slower, producing a better long-lasting flavour. (Most Kirkham’s Lancashire is now found in the smaller ‘midi’ size – 10kg – because many wholesalers and shops find it easier to deal with.)
Ingredients: Milk, salt, cheese cultures and rennet.
* Further information on the Kirkham’s Lancashire recall on Christmas Eve 2023.
On Christmas Eve at 11pm the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a precautionary recall of many of the cheeses produced on the Kirkham family farm in Goosnargh, Lancashire, as a result of an ongoing investigation into a food poisoning outbreak.
Since then, the Kirkham family have been working closely with the Food Standard Agency to ensure their cheeses were, and are, safe. Over 40 samples of milk and cheese made by Kirkham’s over a full a five-month time period have been tested since the investigation began and none showed evidence of the outbreak strain of the suspect pathogen and as such we are pleased to release the product back on sale.
Graham is overjoyed that the family farm can restart production: “In 1939 there were 202 farms making cheese in the county of Lancashire,” he said, “but today our family farm is the only remaining producer of raw-milk, farmhouse Lancashire cheese. We are so very grateful to our customers and the community for their support, and we look forward to making cheese of the highest quality for many years to come.”
“Because food safety is of the utmost importance to our business, we are working with the technical experts at the Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association constantly on a review of our milk production and food safety management systems, making sure that even the smallest risk is identified and dealt with. We are committed to leading the industry in producing cheese that is both safe and delicious.”
Bronwen Percival, the Chair of the Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association Technical Committee, and Neal’s Yard Dairy buyer, has been instrumental in helping Kirkham’s restart. She went on to add, “The Kirkham’s’ production practices are excellent – in line with and often exceeding industry standards – which has been recognised since the beginning of the outbreak investigation by the FSA and Preston Local Authority. I’m impressed, but not surprised, by the Kirkham’s’ dedication in the face of this challenge. They are leading the way for the rest of the cheese industry.”
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.