Cais na Tire Sheep
Caramelised, toasty, sweet.
- Sheep's Milk
- Suitable in Pregnancy
Barry & Lorraine Cahalan make this unique cheese with sheep’s milk from on their small farm in County Tipperary. Cáis Na Tíre is aged on-site until it’s six months old. At this age it develops rich, toasty and caramel notes as the sweetness of the sheep’s milk starts to display: like the finest aged Pecorino and Manchego of the Continent.
Made by Barry & Lorraine Cahalan in Terryglass, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
More about this
Childhood sweethearts, Barry Cahalan and Lorraine Davis met at a nearby Irish Hurling club (like hockey) and they soon went to agricultural college together to go into farming.
In 2013 they left agricultural college to set-up on their own on family land in Borrisokane, north Tipperary (Ireland). Wanting to go into dairy farming but unable to afford the capital investment needing to set up a dairy farm they looked at other ways of setting up. They were lucky to be located close to, Marion Roeleveld, who makes the fantastic Killeen Goats Gouda on her farm 15 miles away. Just, by chance Lorraine had been sent on agricultural college placements with Marion and had became a good friend. Talking with Marion, they struck upon the though of milking dairy sheep, which requires much less investment and start-up costs than building a cow dairy herd; and Marion said if they wanted to set-up she would help them with the cheesemaking side of things.
So they set about building a shed, and then bought a handful of 40 Lacaune and Friesland dairy sheep. Farmed seasonally from Spring to Autumn the sheep are kept out at pasture, paddock grazing them on the fresh grass of the Tipperary plains. They are one of only five sheep dairy farms in Ireland but also keep a small herd of young cows to graze too so that they can farm more ethically and use less antibiotics (different ruminants are susceptible to different parasites / eat the grass differently so farming both together allows for a more holistic approach as it breaks parasite lifescycles and allows different grasses to flourish).
Marion then taught them her expertise of cheesemaking and used her cheesemaking facility to develop a cheese for them, saving them money, time and risk on starting up. Soon, using the fantastic rich milk from their dairy sheep, a new cheese was soon born: Cáis Na Tíre. Not as supple as Marion’s Killeen Gouda recipe (the curd isn’t washed like Gouda), Cáis Na Tíre has a flakier texture and is similar to the hard sheep’s milk Tommes of the south of France on which the original recipe was created out of. Normally sold aged to three months, at The Courtyard Dairy it is further aged to 6 months before being sold, to ensure extra depth of flavour.
in 2018 Barry and Lorraine finally raised enough money to build their own cheese dairy on the farm and so, after spending a year with Marion making Cáis Na Tíre with her every week, she handed the recipe to them, and it is now made by them on their farm by Lorraine.
At present Barry and Lorraine only have 200 sheep, which means that only a very small amount of Cáis Na Tíre cheeses is made each week; it’s a rare find. (They make 80 wheels a week in a 1200l vat.)
They are just a husband and wife team so do all the jobs on the farm themselves – from lambing, to milking, to making the cheese, maturing and selling the cheese, looking after their two young boys….. and last year built a house too!
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, (egg in Lysosome) and rennet.