St James

Savoury, rich, sweet.

  • Pasteurised
  • Sheep's Milk

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.

Made by Nicola Robinson and Martin Gott at Holker Farm, in Cartmel, Cumbria, England.

More about this

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.

Recipe Idea: Buckwheat Crumpets with St James from Kevin Tickle at the Forest Side

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.

Customer reviews

  1. Richard Calver

    We had St James at dinner on Monday. All present thought it wonderful, the taste and aroma reminding us of many happy days in the Lakes.
    The 500g we had lasted about half and hour. I will be buying again and hope the season is not too short. Well done Martin and Nichola.

  2. Helen A

    Superb. We love sheep’s milk cheese and this one is ace. Subtle but distinctive flavour and very soon gone!

  3. Suzana

    I bought some yesterday at the Neal’s Yard Cheese Shop in Covent Garden after tasting it. I have always preferred cows cheese until I tasted this one, it’s subtle but distinctive, wonderful.

  4. Nicky Leeth

    Bought at Southport show – brilliant cheese -ripe but creamy and sharp

  5. Geoff Holland

    We bought a decent sized piece of St James at the Southport Flower Show. A big mistake – we should have bought a piece twice as big! This is REAL cheese – and I really am a cheese fanatic. It’s got everything a soft cheese should have and is totally delicious on its own, the way I like to eat cheese, as do the French. Well done Nicola and Martin. By the way, is there anywhere in the Wirral area where I can buy some?

  6. John Lynch

    I just ate my first St James cheese and it has instantly taken its place on my list of favourite cheeses. Crumbly, with an edible rind and a taste that manages at the same time to say, ‘I am a sheep’s milk cheese’ and to be completely individual. It makes me hanker for the days of centuries ago when almost all cheese was made with milk from the ewe. It’s just brilliant.

  7. Chris Cunningham

    We are huge fans of goats and ewes cheese and this was our first taste of St James. It is absolutely magnificent – and unlike any sheep’s cheese we’ve ever had. To say it is incredibly moreish would be something of an understatement – we adore it!

  8. Jaki

    Subtle flavoured cheese that surely suits everyone’s tastes? Inoffensive but memorable long after you’ve eaten. Perfect for a summer’s evening with a light red wine.

  9. Nikki Lloyd-Brown

    Just tried this cheese for the first time and it’s absolutely delightful. It’s got a lovely flavour and the creamy texture is delicious. I loved in on a water cracker for the contrasting texture.

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