- Cows' Milk
This cheese is no longer being made. If you would like to know more about it and also find out what other British cheeses are very similar please contact: [email protected] … you’ll love the St James as an alternative…
Made by Barry Graham and team, at Loch Arthur Creamery in Beeswing, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
More about this
Meaty, robust and intense
Loch Arthur Creamery has been a pioneer of Scottish farmhouse cheese since 1985. Criffel is a rich, vegetal, washed-rind cheese that breaks down over three months to produce a supple creamy texture.
Loch Arthur Community was formed in 1984, with only a handful of residents and four cows. A Camphill Community (based on Steiner philosophies) it supports and gives opportunities to people with learning disabilities, mental health problems and other special needs. The community is fully integrated, providing work and opportunities for all.
Since it’s humble beginning, Loch Arthur Community has almost doubled in size: it now has 75 residents working in the bakery, vegetable garden, weaving and wood workshops, the recently built farm shop and the famous Loch Arthur Creamery. Founded in 1985, shortly after the start of the community, by head cheese-maker Barry Graham (one of the founding fathers of Loch Arthur) the creamery makes cheese everyday using a rich, full flavoured, unpasteurised milk from their own herd (which has now grown to 170 Dairy Shorthorn crosses).
As well as making Cheddar, Ricotta and Yogurt, Loch Arthur Creamery produces a rather unique British cheese: Criffel (awarded Best Scottish Cheese in the British Cheese Awards 2011). Based on the continental ‘washed-rind’ cheeses like Taleggio and Munster, it was a pioneer cheese and has since inspired many others to follow suit (such as Admiral Collingwood from Northumberland). A washed-rind cheese, naturally, has its rind washed regularly during maturation, to encourage bacteria – often pinky/red – to grow and thus provide certain flavours and odours.
In light of their outstanding contribution not only to cheese but also to the community, they were awarded the BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Award for Best Food Producer 2011.