Light, delicate texture and fresh, herbaceous flavours.
Sinodun Hill is one of Britain’s newest and most exciting goats’ cheeses. Made on the farm using the farm’s Anglo Nubian goats’ rich milk, this ‘lactic’ cheese has a mousse-like delicate texture and zippy fresh taste with herbaceous goaty finish.
Made by Fraser Norton and Rachel Yarrow in Shillingford near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
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Unlike most farmers that make cheese, Fraser and Rachel did it the opposite way around – they started with cheese-making and then went into farming!
Whilst on holiday in Sicily in 2014 they read about a goats’-cheese maker ‘living the good life’ which prompted them to give up their successful careers as teacher and project manager, and start making cheese one-day a week. One of the first things they did was to read The Courtyard Dairy’s blog (www.thecourtyarddairy.co.uk/blog/making-ageing-cheese/i-want-to-become-a-professional-cheese-maker-where-do-i-start/) and followed its advice, including buying their first ever cheese-making kit from Moorlands, and booking courses at School of Artisan Food. They later told Andy Swinscoe “It was a very helpful starting point; a good thing you wrote it!”
In 2016 their dream started to be realised when they began renting space from an already established dairy, Nettlebed Creamery in Oxfordshire. Initially making a variety of cheeses, they soon concentrated purely on goats’ milk, using a recipe based on the lactic cheeses of France’s Loire valley: small, long-set cheeses, with a wrinkly yeast coat often with mottled blue and white moulds (all edible), and, in their case, formed into a small pyramid. The cheese is then matured for three weeks and develops a soft delicate texture, rich creamy flavour and delicate herby-goaty bite.
This was all possible because, after a few months of making cheese, Fraser Norton and Rachel Yarrow heard about a project called Farm Step, which is an environmental charity set up by the Earth’s Trust, designed to promote sustainable farming. It enables new farmers that cannot afford to buy their own farm or land affordably to lease land and barns. Farm Step gave Fraser and Rachel the opportunity to start farming their own goats, taking on some pedigree milking Anglo Nubian goats from a nearby cheese-maker that was retiring. From a start of a handful of goats the herd has grown to 35, giving enough milk to make Sinodun Hill a success.
In September 2017 ‘Norton & Yarrow’ were awarded a grant to help them to build a dairy on their small-holding in Oxfordshire. Thus, in 2018, they moved their cheese-making to their own farm and so completed the circle.
Sinodun Hill cheese is named after a local chalk hill in the Thames valley overlooking the creamery. Sinodun in turn takes its name from the Celtic word ‘Seno-Dunum’ which means ‘Old Fort’.
The rind of this cheese can vary because of seasonal variation and will occasionally show blue/white/green fluffy spots. All are completely edible and natural. For more details you can read about natural cheese rinds here.
This cheese 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.
Nutritional Data (typical values, per 100g):
Fat 30.2g (of which saturates 16.96g)
Carbohydrates 4.8g (of which sugars 1.6g)
Weight: 1 x 200g cheese.
Ingredients: Milk, salt, cheese cultures and rennet.