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2019-20 | £4.50

CUTTING EDGE Sharp accessories and nifty gifts

HARD TO BEAT? From Parmesan to Pecorino, six Italian classics go head-to-head with their closest British rivals

THE OUTER LIMITS How Italy’s Carlo Fiore created a new niche for ultra-aged cheeses SHERIDANS The Irish champion cheesemongers who give supermarkets a good name


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welcome

ITALY TAKES CENTRE STAGE in this year’s Good Cheese, in celebration of Bergamo’s role as host city for the 2019 World Cheese Awards (page 10). We’ve got an interview with one of the country’s true stars, veteran affineur Carlo Fiore, who put his family firm on the global map with his pioneering approach to aged cheeses. And our favourite cheese writer Pat McGuigan has spiced thIngs up a little by staging a head-to-head match between a team of Italian stars (Parmigiana Reggiano, Taleggio, etc) and a few upstart Brits. But just as the World Cheese Awards (WCAs) have been happily hopping between host nations over recent years,

we’ve not confined ourselves to Britain or southern Europe. In Norway, last year’s WCA Supreme Champion producer Jørn Hafslund and son Magnus tell us how winning has changed their family business), In the USA, Elyse Glickman hears how the nation’s burgeoning craft dairies are targeting Europe with a uniquely American twist on recipes from nations with a longer cheesemaking tradition. And in Ireland, Sheridans shows how it has changed the face of Dunnes supermarket delis with its instore cheesemongers. My personal favourite in this Good

Cheese? Bill de la Hey’s recommendations on the best cheese books for pros and amateurs alike. I do enjoy a good read.

Born in the USA

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The Written Curd

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Profile: Carlo Fiore

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Perfect accompaniments

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Cheese accessories

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Find a cheese shop

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Mick Whitworth Contributing Editor Guild of FIne Food

INSIDE Counter culture

What’s new and what’s happening in the world of fine cheeses

Sheridan’s

How the Irish cheesemonger’s tie-up with Dunnes is taking quality to the masses

Profile: Ostergården

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How last year’s World Cheese Awards victory has changed the fortunes of a tiny Norwegian dairy

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Influenced by the cheeses of many nations, US makers are creating their own unique varieties

He’s changed the face of affinage in his home country, and won a prestigious global market for his family firm along the way

Taste test: Italy v Britain

Italian classics go head to head with Britain’s finest in this (mostly) friendly match

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Bookseller and deli owner Bill de la Hey offers his pick of the best cheesy reads

Track down a great cheesemonger near you with our directory of UK specialist stores

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37 2019-20 | £4.50

CUTTING EDGE Sharp accessories and nifty gifts

HARD TO BEAT? From Parmesan to Pecorino, six Italian classics go head-to-head with their closest British rivals

THE OUTER LIMITS How Italy’s Carlo Fiore created a new niche for ultra-aged cheeses SHERIDANS The Irish champion cheesemongers who give supermarkets a good name

Cover image: Stefan Bleschke/Stockfood

EDITORIAL editorial@gff.co.uk Contributing Editor: Mick Whitworth Editor: Michael Lane Assistant editor: Lauren Phillips Art Director: Mark Windsor Contributors: Elyse Glickman, Patrick McGuigan Photography: Isabelle Plasschaert

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45 ADVERTISING advertise@gff.co.uk Sales director: Sally Coley Sales manager: Ruth Debnam Sales executive: Becky Haskett Sales support: Sam Coleman

GENERAL ENQUIRIES Tel: +44 (0) 1747 825200 Fax: +44 (0) 1747 824065 info@gff.co.uk, gff.co.uk Guild of Fine Food, Guild House, 23b Kingsmead Business Park, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5FB UK PRINTED BY Blackmore, Dorset, UK

PUBLISHED BY The Guild of Fine Food Ltd www.gff.co.uk © The Guild of Fine Food Ltd 2019. Reproduction of whole or part of this magazine without the publisher’s prior permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in articles and advertisements are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.

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What’s new in the world of speciality cheese? TRUFFLED BRIE IS A FINE ADDITION

Cheese academy comes to Home Farm Devon farmhouse cheddar producer Quicke’s is sharing its cheese expertise with enthusiasts and fellow professionals, after becoming the first UK cheesemaker to offer Academy of Cheese Level 1 (Associate) training courses on a working farm. Its first Academy training day was held in September, and more of the one-day courses – allowing cheese lovers and cheesemongers the chance to improve their knowledge and gain a recognised qualification – will be staged throughout 2020. A new Dairy Education Room, with a window looking directly into Quickes’ production dairy, has also been created, giving a view of cheesemaking to course delegates as well as casual visitors on summer tours of Home Farm. Cheesemaking icon Mary Quicke MBE was a key figure in establishing the Academy of Cheese, which is developing qualifications up to Master of Cheese level. • Quicke’s is giving all Good Cheese readers 10% off its Cheese Tours and Level 1 Academy courses. Use the code ‘GOODCHEESE10’ at the checkout on their Eventbrite page. www.quickes.co.uk

A new, truffled version of the brie-style Baron Bigod from Suffolk’s Fen Farm Dairy is the latest in a clutch of new additions to The Fine Cheese Co’s range. Expected to go down a storm at Christmas, Truffle Baron Bigod is said to combine a “rich and perfectly balanced truffled centre” with the cheese’s signature mushroomy flavour beneath the rind. Last year saw the inaugural Ann-Marie Dyas Award for ‘Best Artisan Cheese’ – named in memory of The Fine Cheese Co’s muchmissed founder – presented at the World Cheese Awards to Sweden’s Almnäs Bruk for its distinctive, brick-shaped Almnäs Tegel. Now the cheese, which bears a unique ‘footprint’ stamp on each slab, has been added to The Fine Cheese Co’s catalogue. finecheese.co.uk

Portuguese pair

Portuguese artisan cheesemaker Brejo da Gaia has introduced two new cheeses using its own goats’ milk. Dom Brejo is described as “a chevre cheese but with a Portuguese touch” thanks to its chilli coating, giving strength of flavour alongside a soft, floral aroma. The other is Dona Gaia: a softer, camembert-style cheese, which cheesemaker Susana Carrolo describes as “delicate and simple, but not without its slight floral touch”. brejodagaia@sapo.pt

Soft options

Austria´s largest soft cheese maker, Ennstal Milch, has launched five cheeses under the Ennstaler brand – each available in both conventional and organic form. They are: Ennstaler double mold cheese, with a white mold on the rind and blue veins inside; a natural-rind, fine soft cheese with a natural red bloom; a wine cheese, aged on organic red wine lees; a mild, creamy camembert; and the Ennstaler blue mould cheese. ennstalmilch.at

Green cheese

The new black

Charcoal Cheddar is the latest trendtracking addition to the contemporary and sometimes quirky range from Cheshire Cheese Company. Extra mature cheddar is blended with activated charcoal, which is claimed to help remove harmful toxins from the body. The resulting “jet black” but still creamy cheese comes in 200g waxed truckles. cheshirecheesecompany.co.uk

ROYAL RESULT FOR TUNWORTH

Britain’s best answer to Camembert, the soft, white-rind Tunworth, has won a new annual award backed by HRH The Prince of Wales and voted for by the UK’s artisan cheesemaking community. Made by Stacey Hedges, Charlotte Spruce and their team at Hampshire Cheeses, near Basingstoke, Tunworth was named 2019 winner of the inaugural Patron’s Award from the Specialist Cheesemakers Association (SCA) for the Best Artisan Cheese of the Year. The award was donated by Prince Charles, with SCA members each allowed to nominate one UK cheese from an artisan dairy. hampshirecheeses.co.uk

Somerset-based Feltham’s Farm, producer of the pungent Renegade Monk, was putting the final touches to a new, larger, eco-friendly cheese barn as Good Cheese went to press. At 200 sq m, the new facility gives scope to raise production from 400 litres of milk a week to as much as 5,000 litres - good news for fans of the ale-washed, soft blue that took a silver in the 2017 World Cheese Awards. felthamsfarm.com

Blooming bairns A pair of new lactic, set cows’ milk cheeses have been introduced this year by Strathearn Cheese in Perthshire, Scotland – both offspring of its established Lady Mary lactic cheese. The Lady Mary’s Bairns are 2 x 60g crottinshaped cheeses, with a thin bloomy rind. One is topped with locally foraged wild garlic and a spray of local rapeseed truffle oil (just like its “mum”, the Lady Mary) and the other with a dusting of sweet smoked paprika. strathearncheese.co.uk GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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counter culture

Eco-breakthrough for Italy’s Brazzale Italy’s longest-established dairy company has hit a major milestone in its bid to become fully sustainable, offsetting 100% of its carbon emissions with a massive tree-planting programme. Brazzale, an eighth-generation family business with production sites in Italy, the Czech Republic, Brazil and China, decided more than 20 years ago to move towards a sustainable farming and production model. It launched a string of initiatives ranging from reducing water usage to carbon offsetting. Now, after planting a forest with over 1.5 million new trees, Brazzale has achieved total compensation for the C02 produced in all its production plants worldwide, earning it the externally verified title of Carbon Neutral group. A leading player in the Italy’s dairy sector, Brazzale producers butter, Gran Moravia cheese – similar in style to Parmesan or Grana Padano – four DOP products and seven different brands. brazzale.com

PRESENTS IN MIND AT PAXTON’S

Venerable English cheesemonger Paxton & Whitfield has made gifting its focus, with several big new packages to inspire Christmas shoppers. There’s a Make Your Own Cheeseboard range, with three different selections of fine cheeses, cured meats and accompaniments, chosen by Paxton’s. Priced at £40, they come with advice on how to cut, plate and present your own dinner party platter. Also new is a revamped range of Paxton’s branded homewares and accessories, ranging from knives and cheeseboards to fondue sets. And finally comes a selection of Cheese Homeware Gift Packs that combine the two – like a two-person raclette set (£45.00) featuring a mini candlelit Raclette grill, 250g of Raclette, plus Sweet Cucumber Pickle and a Cornish Charcuterie Salami. Others in this range include a Make Your Own Baked Camembert set (£40) and fondue packages to serve two or six people. paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk

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Cheeky win

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS

Jersey’s only goats’ cheese maker is celebrating this year after securing a Great Taste 2-star award for the cheekily named Fluffy Fuhka, a ripened goat’s cheese with a touch of ash on the rind. It was the first time cheesemaker Angela Harvey-Jones and her co-owner John Sowerby had entered the awards since setting up Jerriaise D’or Goat Farm with a herd of Golden Guernseys in 2010. gggoatsjersey@gmail.com

Seven years after he first started cheesemaking for another producer, Chris Heyes has gone it alone with the launch of Balcombe Dairy in West Sussex. Based on a friend’s dairy farm in Balcombe, Heyes is making a pasteurised, Continentalstyle blue, hand-made in small batches in a 500 litre vat just yards from where the cows are milked. Matured for up to eight weeks, it has been named Blue Clouds. “Clouds is the name of the farm of my cheesemaking mentor, Michael Wisdom, who made the same style blue cheese in Kenya,” Heyes explains. chris@balcombedairy.co.uk

Smoky Rose Set up two years ago by brothers Dean and Mark Wright on the family farm in Portadown, Northern Ireland, Ballylisk of Armagh has picked up a 2-star award for its first cheese in Great Taste 2019 - and announced its first new product. Made from their own pasteurised cows’ milk with added cream, the original Triple Rose is fullflavoured white mold cheese with salty, lemony notes. It has now been joined by a smoked version, with both cheeses available through distributors in Ireland and mainland UK. ballyliskofarmagh.com

Cardoon capers

More rounded than Roquefort

Italian cheese and butter maker Fattorie Fiandino has trademarked the term Metodo Kinara, or “Kinara method”, to describe its process of making cheeses using vegetable rennet from cardoons (Cynara cardunculus). It says the method contributes to the “zero lactose” content of its Gran Kinara hard cheese, which is made in Piedmont with milk from Fattorie Fiandino’s own Bruna Italiana cows and aged for at least 12 months. fattoriefiandino.it

In a twist on its award-winning, cows’ milk Brighton Blue, High Weald Dairy has launched Brighton Ewe: a pasteurised sheeps’ blue that delivers a “mellow and well rounded, nutty flavour with a rich creamy texture”. Brighton Ewe is initially milder than the famous French ewes’ milk Roquefort, but develops more strength with age, says High Weald. highwealddairy.co.uk

Divide and rule Croome Cuisine owner Nick Hodgetts reckons the Worcestershire cheesemaker has “got the balance just right” with its new black truffle flavoured cheddar truckle. Hodgetts says the often divisive flavour has gone down a storm on the show circuit this year, with one customer suggesting it will make an ideal carbonara ingredients. The waxed black truckles are available in delis and farm shops as well as direct from the maker. croomecuisine.com

Ewe beauty

The first sheep’s milk variety in the Sharpham Cheese range, Washbourne has been picking up trophies across the board this year. It took Best Ewes’ Cheese at the 2019 Artisan Cheese Fair, Best Modern British Cheese at the British Cheese Awards and then capped these with UK Supreme Champion at the Global Cheese Awards. Made on the Sharpham Estate in Devon using milk from neighbouring Ticklemore Dairy, the smooth, creamy, brine-washed cheese is typically matured for 8-10 weeks. sharphamcheese.co.uk


2018

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GOOD CHEESE 2019-20


counter culture

SPANISH SPECIALIST TAPS INTEREST IN COWS’ MILK ALTERNATIVES

Dairy goats herald better times for Errington’s After a tumultuous few years, Scotland’s Errington Cheese says it has been given “a new lease of life” with the arrival of dairy goats from a high healthstatus herd in Yorkshire. Despite widespread support from the artisan cheese industry, the farmer and cheesemaker was brought to the brink of closure following a legal dispute with South Lanarkshire council over an outbreak of E-coli. Errington’s ultimately won its court case but decided to cease production of its cows’ milk Dunsyre Blue – its highest-volume product – because of the damage already done to its reputation. The company also makes ewes’ milk cheeses, including its original Lanark Blue, and runs around 350 Lacaune dairy sheep on its farm. But a move into goats’ cheese opens new doors – and should help rebuild the dairy’s finances. “This is a positive next step for us, and despite the issues with local authorities we’re ready for you to try something new,” says director Selina Cairns, daughter of founder Humphrey Errington As lactic goats’ cheese matures quickly, it allows Errington to produce and sell the cheese quickly too. Goats also lactate all year round – unlike sheep – allowing ongoing production and providing more regular employment for locals. erringtoncheese.co.uk

More consumers are hunting for alternatives to cows’ milk cheeses, either for health reasons – including allergies – or on ethical grounds. That’s the view of Rupert Linton, head of cheese at Spanish foods specialist Brindisa, who says the company is also seeing more interest in the “bold tastes” of Spanish goats’ and ewes’ milk cheeses. “We only partner with dairies whose sheep and goats mostly graze on pasture,” he adds, “as this ultimately gives each cheese its unique sense of terroir.” Examples from Brindisa’s Spanish ewes’ milk portfolio include 1605 Manchego wedge, a Great Taste 3-star winner cured for 11 months. “It’s our best quality Manchego, and rapidly gaining recognition,” says Linton. Raw milk lactic goats’ cheeses on Brindisa’s list include the ash-coated Moluengo, which won silver at Nantwich International Cheese Awards, Granizo (with truffles), and two cheeses from Elvira Garcia: Luna Negra and Luna Roja. brindisa.com

A mobile app created by Brazilian developer Zeno Rocha promises to give info on more than 1,800 cheeses from around the world at the tap of the screen. Le Cheese, available on the App Store and Google Play, gives users the history, origin and flavour of each cheese, and allows them to rate them and build up a cheesy wish list. lecheese.app

2020 VISION FROM LE GRUYÈRE AOP

Interprofession du Gruyère has confirmed it will work with the Guild of Fine Food again in 2020 to get more shoppers tasting the Swiss raw milk classic Le Gruyère AOP in UK independent stores. Representing 172 cheesemakers, who in turn support 2,500 Swiss milk producers, the organisation has been a long-time supporter of the Guild and the World Cheese Awards. Its annual promotion through the Guild sees delis and farm shops offering tastings of Le Gruyère AOP in-store. This also gives retailers a chance to showcase the different flavours available within the legally protected AOP rules, from smooth and aromatic young cheeses (6-9 months) to powerfully flavoured 18-24 month cheeses. gruyere.com

Specialising in artisan cheese from Switzerland, Londonbased Käseswiss is shifting its focus towards summer Alpine cheeses from small producers, and making them more accessible to the public. The biodiversity of summer pastures in the Alps lends itself to high quality raw cheeses, based on milk from grass-fed cows and self-produced starter cultures, says owner Rachael Sills. In September, Käseswiss received its first delivery of Alpine Raclette from a small dairy with 20 cows, located at about 1700m above sea level. kaseswiss.co.uk Bosco Reale – a cows’ milk blue, aged with berries and orange liqueur – is the latest arrival from Corrado Benedetti Weighing 2 kg, Bosco Reale is said to deliver a complex flavour, with sweet notes from the fruits used in the maturing process. Based north of Verona, Corrado Benedetti specialises in maturing and finishing artisan cheeses and meats. It is best known for its Redivino cheese, finished in the local Amarone della Valpolicella wine. corradobenedetti.it Launched in September, Godminster’s black truffle vintage organic cheddar is described as “a true gourmet product”, smooth and creamy, with visible pieces of European black truffle throughout. Made with vegetarian rennet and pasteurised milk to the same recipe as the Vintage Organic Cheddar, the newcomer has already won gold at the International Cheese Awards. godminster.com With an eye on the festive season, Lancashire farmhouse cheesemaker Butlers has launched what it believes is the world’s first cheese brulée. Blacksticks Blue Cheese Brulée takes Butlers’ creamy, not overly pungent blue and tops it with a dusting of demarara sugar, ready for caramelising under the grill for a crunchy topping. It is the “the ultimate cheese starter-dessert hybrid”, the cheesemaker says. butlerscheeses.co.uk GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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ACADEMY OF CHEESE STEPS UP A GEAR

GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN EAST MEETS WEST Last year’s Good Cheese investigated the stunning cheeses emerging from Japan’s artisan dairies, but according to UK importer Vallebona, many other Japanese ingredients work brilliantly with Western cheeses. Best known for its Italian foods, Vallebona also imports from Japan – sometimes on a sole-supplier basis. “In both Japanese and Italian cooking, a heavy importance is placed on both provenance and seasonality,” says Vallebona’s Flora Baring, adding that it offers unique condiments, from seaweed pickled wakame stems, that match well with classic European cheeses. “Yuzu marmalade is perfect with creamy cheeses like our Robiola Tre Latti,” says Baring. “Similarly, shiso pesto and oozy Burrata are firm friends.” vallebona.co.uk

With its one-day Level 1 courses for cheese enthusiasts and budding professionals now well established, the UK-based Academy of Cheese (AOC) has taken its next step towards the end-goal of a Masters qualification for top-level international cheese experts. Autumn 2019 saw the Guild of Fine Food become the first UK training provider to run a twoday AOC Level 2 course, allowing pros and serious amateurs to qualify as Members of the AOC. The course – which also requires up to 72 hours of self-study – takes delegates deeper into the cheese world than Level 1. Topics ranged from the cheesemaking process to affinage and grading, buying and distribution, food safety regulations and general industry knowledge. The first Guild course ran in September at its No 42 venue on London’s Southwark St, with further courses already scheduled for 13th-14th November and 28th-29th January 2020. The AOC, which is run by a pan-industry board, also staged its first Training Partner Development Day (below) in September, for new and existing training partners wanting to learn more about AOC learning outcomes and improve their training skills. Twelve partners took part, including International trainers from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Norway and Ireland who have shown interest in bringing the AOC to their markets. gff.co.uk/training | academyofcheese.org

‘Capital of Cheese’ hosts trade and consumer extravaganza A cheese-lovers’ festival, food market, an international trade show, conference and training event, a “museum” showcasing three decades worth of World Cheese Awards winners – and the 2019 awards themselves. That’s the line-up that has allowed the organisers of this year’s Forme, running in Bergamo, Italy, on 18th-20th October, to strapline this year’s event “the whole world of cheese”. The city of Bergamo itself is the self-styled European Capital of Cheese, and that slogan is also well justified. This part of Lombardy boasts nine Protected Designation of Origin cheeses – more than any other region in the European Union. Steeped in cheesemaking culture, it was also a natural location for this year’s World Cheese Awards, run by Good Cheese’s publisher, the Guild of Fine Food, after successful visits to San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque region in 2016 and Bergen, Norway, last year. Forme was created in 2015 to raise both the profile and the value of Italian cheese. Its various elements are designed to improve knowledge of the nation’s cheeses and the specific regions where they are made, among both consumers and trade buyers, nationally and internationally. The World Cheese Awards will be taking place at the Fiera di Bergamo – the city’s main exhibition venue – on Friday 18th October. And with the Guild inviting in scores of leading buyers, cheesemakers and technical specialists from all corners of the globe to judge, this was also the ideal year for Forme’s organisers to launch B2Cheese: a mix of trade fair, networking event and educational forum. B2Cheese will be open at the Fiera di Bergamo on October 17th and 18th, while the more consumer-focused elements of Forme will run from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th, at the exhibition centre and across the city’s medieval centre. progettoforme.eu 10

GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

20-MONTH RISERVA MAY BE GRANA’S BEST-KEPT SECRET Sales of Italy’s mighty Grana Padano approached 5 million wheels in 2018 and were already on course to beat that level by the middle of 2019. Yet the Grana Padano Consortium, which promotes sales of the PDO cheese worldwide, believes there is scope to sell more, focusing on the premium 20-month-plus Riserva selection. A 2018 survey of Italian consumers placed Grana Padano 17th in the nation’s 100 brands – beating the likes of eBay and Lavazza. But according to the Consortium, the grainy, intensely flavoured Riserva is still relatively unknown in Italy. “It’s even more new in the rest of the world,” says a spokeswoman, “as only a few consumers know that Grana Padano can have such a special vintage.” The Riserva was only introduced in 2005, and production now sits at around 455,000 wheels. But output has risen 63% in the past two years – suggesting there is plenty of demand once consumers and chefs understand how much the flavours develop beyond 20 months. granapadano.it


Available direct from THE OXFORD BLUE CHEESE COMPANY LTD 01844 338055 www.oxfordfinefood.com and www.oxfordcheese.co.uk Or From: Harvey and Brockless Ltd - 0207 819 6000, Anthony Rowcliffe - 01892 838 999, Carron Lodge - 01995 640 352, Hamish Johnston - 01394 388 127, Aubrey Allen – 024 7642 2222, Cheltenham Cheese - 01242 529 921, Leopard Dairy - 01747 811 188, New Wave Seafoods - 01285 715 160, Barry Gibbon - 01235 812 974, Abbey Cheese - 01525 853040, Wellocks - 0844 499 3444, West Horsley Dairy - 01483 725 000, Albion Fine Foods - 01732 757900, Longman Cheese Sales – 01963 441146, La Chasse - 01747 840996. GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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Taking it to the people It’s easy to turn your nose up at prepack-led supermarket “deli” ranges. But a dozen counters in Ireland’s Dunnes chain, run by Irish artisan cheese champion Sheridans, have shown you can do ‘mass market’ – and do it brilliantly. PATRICK McGUIGAN reports.

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retailer profile: sheridans

CHEESE BUFFS WON’T BE SURPRISED to read that, earlier this year, Sheridans won the Best Specialist Cheese Shop category in the Guild of Fine Food’s prestigious Shop of the Year competition. Seamus and Kevin Sheridan have been at the forefront of the Irish cheese renaissance since they first started selling cheese from a market stall in Galway in 1995, and have arguably done more to champion farmhouse cheese in the country than anyone else. So the business is an obvious contender for an award that sees expert judges and mystery shoppers scour the UK and Ireland for the best indie retailers. But eyebrows were raised slightly when it was announced the winning outlet was not one of Sheridans’ traditional cheese shops, but a supermarket concession. The counter in Dunnes Stores’ shiny 4,000 sq m Cornelscourt store in Dublin is one of 12 such tie-ups with Ireland’s largest supermarket chain, which has also added similar concessions from butcher James Whelan and the Alternative Bread Company as it looks to put distance between itself and the German discounters. Kevin Sheridan confesses that “large retail was seen as the enemy” when he first started out, so he and his brother were apprehensive when Dunnes initially approached them to open a counter in 2015. “We went away and thought about it,” he

says. “Seamus and I went for a walk around the warehouse, discussing. What do we like doing? Selling cheese. Who do we like selling it to? Everybody. “So we thought it was worth a shot as long as we had 100% control over our product range and our staff.” That independence has been key to the partnership, which is due to expand with further counters in the coming months.

Kevin (left) and Seamus Sheridan accumulated 20 years experience in their own shops - including their original Galway store (pictured) – before partnering with Dunnes in 2015

Sheridans has total control over its staff, product range and pricing with each concession working as a shop within a shop. Dunnes simply takes a percentage of each sale. “The cheese that we sell on our Dunnes counters is exactly the same cheese that we’ve always sold, at the same price,” says Sheridan. Each counter stocks around 100 cheeses, taking in old and new school Irish cheeses (see box-out), plus imports, such as Colston Bassett Stilton and Marcel Petite Comté, and a full range of speciality foods. Staff training is also taken seriously, with new recruits for Dunnes stores spending time with cheesemakers and in Sheridans’ five other stand-alone outlets to make sure their cheese knowledge and customer service is up to scratch. “That shopkeeper element is so important,” he says. “It’s about making really good food available to everyone, and the benefit that has for the cheesemakers. Even if you love cheese, are you going to drive to a specialist cheese shop, park and buy a wedge once a week? Probably not. But, by being in Dunnes, people are buying artisan cheese from us weekly. We’re getting a new audience for our cheese.” This is reflected by Sheridans’ buoyant retail sales, which grew 25% in 2018 to help the company turn over €9.5M. Some of this was driven by new Dunnes counters, but sales in existing stores also grew at 10%. It’s a far cry from when the brothers first started selling cheese. Back then, Kevin had just finished a fine art degree and older brother Seamus ran a restaurant called the Blue Raincoat, but had been impressed by cheese shops IJ Mellis and Neal’s Yard Dairy after living in in Edinburgh and London. “Irish cheeses were probably better known in the UK, because of companies like Neal’s Yard, than they were here,” says Sheridan. “We’d look up cheesemakers and phone them, and they would post the cheese to us. “I can still remember opening those boxes. The wonderful smell. I’d taste it with the customer because I didn’t know what the hell half of them tasted like.” GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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OLD SCHOOL, NEW SCHOOL: KEVIN SHERIDAN’S 10 BEST IRISH CHEESES OLD SCHOOL Durrus Cork Semi-soft washed rind; pasteurised cow’s milk For me, Durrus encapsulates farmhouse cheese, reflecting the rugged sea swept Sheep’s Head Peninsula and the craft of producer Jeffa Gill. The cheese has a silky texture and long earthy flavour under a delicate pink bloom. Cashel Blue Tipperary Soft blue; pasteurised cows’ milk The Grubb family has created an internationally renowned cheese, which can rival the great blues of Europe, while retaining a genuine farmhouse ethos. It has a buttery texture and syrupy, tangy flavour.   Coolea Cork Hard; pasteurised cow’s milk Better than any Dutch gouda I’ve tasted. The Willems family combine the steadfast consistency of their Dutch heritage with wilder notes from their adopted landscape. Matured for over a year, it has caramel elements with a delicate whiff of melted butter and fresh hay.   St Tola Clare Soft; raw goat’s milk Meg and Derek Gordon created this goat’s cheese in 1978 and Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith has kept the original magic but also developed it further. A wonderful citrus flavour, which mingles with subtle herbal and nutty tones.   Gubbeen Cork Semi-soft washed rind; pasteurised cows’ milk The combination of Tom Ferguson’ dairy farming and Giana Ferguson’s passion for farming rinds produces this gentle yet rich cheese. The washed rind has a perfect pink bloom and the springy paste has nutty and mushroom aromas.

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NEW SCHOOL

Templegall Cork Hard cooked; raw cows’ milk Cheddar maker Dan Hegarty has teamed up with French cheesemaker Jean-Baptiste Enjelven to create a raw milk Comtestyle cheese. Matured for 8-12 months, it’s technically brilliant with complex flavours, from winter broth to fresh herbs.   15 fields Waterford Hard; raw cows’ milk Eamon Lonergan of Knockanore makes this small cheddar-style tome for us and we then we mature it, washing the rind and allowing the cheese to develop a more rustic expression.   Wicklow Bán Wicklow Soft; pasteurised cows’ milk John Hempenstal makes this cheese on his farm, adding extra cream to the milk and encouraging a thick bloomy rind. A subtle, buttery cheese that never oozes but has a thick cream cheese texture.   Cáis Na Tíre Tipperary Hard; pasteurised sheep’s milk Sheep farmers Barry Cahalan and Lorraine Davis originally outsourced cheese-making but in the last couple of years have mastered the craft themselves. A sweet, earthy sheep’s milk tomme aged for at least three months.   Killeen Galway Hard; pasteurised goats’ milk Marion Roeleweld goat gouda is so sweet and velvety at around three months mature. Pleases everyone, from sandwich eating kids to Michelinstarred chefs.

By being in Dunnes, people are buying artisan cheese from us weekly. We’re getting a new audience.

The pair opened their first bricks-andmortar shop in Galway in 1996 and a second outlet in Dublin the year after, before setting up their HQ in Meath. “It was all seat of pants stuff in the beginning,” he says. “We built every shelf, did all the tiling ourselves.” Irish artisan producers have always been at the heart of Sheridans’ business, with the company playing an important role in the rise of the country’s food scene. “Speciality food used to be stuff from abroad,” he says. “We looked to the French and Italians to see what and how we should eat. But Irish food culture has matured and become aware of our own heritage. We now sell more Irish black pudding than we do cured ham.” This growing confidence is reflected in a burgeoning cheese scene with the original pioneers of the 1980s and ‘90s being joined by a new wave of producers. Not that it’s always easy being a cheesemaker in Ireland. There is still suspicion about raw milk among government agencies, food safety inspectors and industrial cheesemakers, says Sheridan, which has roots in historic problems with TB, as well as the importance of food exports to the Irish economy. The number of cheesemakers using raw milk has more than halved in the past 20 years to around a dozen, he says, as producers decided it was easier to pasteurise. “There were cheesemakers that were pushed into pasteurisation because it just became so bloody difficult to make raw milk cheese,” he says. “In France, the traditions and culture intertwined with raw milk cheese mean it’s placed higher up the value scale.” Attitudes are changing however with Irish shoppers showing much more interest in where their food comes from and how it’s made, as well as having a better understanding of the benefits of raw milk. Sheridans’ counters in Dunnes stores are also undoubtedly helping to spread the word to a wider range of people. The trend is so pronounced that the Irish Times wrote an opinion piece after Sheridans’ Shop of the Year win, linking its relationship with Dunnes to the rise of Ireland’s growing middle class, better education and social mobility. That’s pretty good going for a business that started on a market stall nearly 25 years ago. “It’s always good to get off the food pages and into the main pages,” says Sheridan, modestly. sheridanscheesemongers.com


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profile: ostegården

Jørn Hafslund, pictured with his champion cheese Fanaost, didn’t have to stray far from home to grasp last year’s World Cheese Awards trophy (below)

Heaven scent FROM HUMBLE ORIGINS TO WORLD-BEATER, the story of Fanaost could read like a crowdpleasing sports movie if its subject were an athlete rather than an exquisite gouda-style cheese. Farmer Jørn Hafslund never planned for his dairy farm – at Ostegården, 22 kilometers south of Bergen – to become known for artisanal cheese production. When he started cheese-making a dozen years ago it was just a means of using up excess milk. But many of the right conditions were in place for Fanaost to emerge as champion at the 2018 World Cheese Awards, and for the farm to develop unique expressions of camembert and brie too, plus condiments such as chilli and pear jam. To begin with, Hafslund notes that his team of 12 cows benefit from the perfect – if hardly level – playing field. They dine on 14 different grasses growing near a rocky, wooded outcrop jutting out into the pure waters of a local fjord. The resulting milk matures into Fanaost, a mild, round and semi-solid cheese, reminiscent

of gouda, that set itself apart with the World Cheese Awards judges in Bergen last year. Its rich, savoury flavours “really deliver a sense of place,” they noted. “We’re very proud of the environment around the farm,” says Hafslund, but he also credits the Norwegian Red cow breed. Resistant to illness and with a good disposition, it was developed in the 1930s by crossing several breeds including Norwegian Redand-White, Red Trondheim and the Red Polled Østland. “I believe this makes this milk we use very special,” says Hafslund. Fanaost competed on its own against producers from majorleague nations such as France, Holland, Italy, England and Spain at the 2018 World Cheese Awards in Bergen. The pride of Ostegården Farm was in very good company, given that there were other Norwegian producers with impressive WCA showings, including Stordalen Gardsbruk (with its SuperGoldwinning brown cheese) and Tingvollost, which won the World Champion title with its blue,

Kraftkar, in 2016. However, with over 3,400 entries, the ascendance of Fanoast was a breath-taking and unforgettable feat, made all the more poignant with the announcement taking place on a stage that was international yet 22 kilometers from the farm. “I was there ahead of the announcement of the Super Jury,” recalls Hafslund. “We were at the WCA to sell our cheese to cheese lovers, retailers and other attendees. I realised early on that

PA/Scanpix

Success smells doubly sweet for Ostegården’s Jørn Hafslund. His gouda-style Fanaost not ony topped the 2018 World Cheese Awards but the win brought son Magnus back into the family dairy, securing it for the next generation, as the pair told ELYSE GLICKMAN. the competition was so incredibly fierce.” With over 3,000 cheeses competing, any kind of award would have felt like a victory. “My wife, meanwhile, went home before the results were announced because we never thought there was a chance for us to win anything.” The moment when judges declared Fanaost the winner was understandably overwhelming for Hafslund, as would be the attention his farm and his cheeses would receive in the days and weeks after the announcement. Although son Magnus, 26, was in the military and at NATO training in Trondheim at the time of the competition, the life-changing word on Fanoast’s victory hit him just as powerfully. “I first read the news on Verdens Gang, Norway’s largest newspaper, and then received phone messages from my friends,” Magnus says. “Up until that moment, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to be a cheese-farmer at all. “However, the realisation struck like lightning from clear skies, that I was going to join the GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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profile: ostegården

Jan Inge Wiig

Magnus Hafslund, pictured with the farm’s Norwegian Red cows. News of the WCA win persuaded him to leave the military and throw himself wholeheartedy into the family dairy.

family farm. It has ended up being an incredibly positive experience for me. “It will be exciting to eventually develop my own cheeses. I haven’t quite figured out what they’re going to be, but I’ve definitely started to think about it.” Life has changed for the family on some levels but not all. There’s a firm commitment to keeping the farm running like clockwork and not losing sight of the domestic market before getting excited about export opportunities. While major award-winners switch focus to expanding their range of products, the family is more dedicated to maintaining and improving the Fanaost, brie and camembert variants they spent time developing prior to the win. Hafslund adds that once consistent production of the three existing cheeses is ensured, they will be in a place to consider product development again. “Everyday life is characterized by the same routines,” he says with humility. “We still get up at 5.50 in the morning to milk our cows. 18

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For me personally, the big change is probably just that there is more of everything. More cheese, more email, more milk, more production, and more staff.” Magnus concurs, saying:

We can’t afford to get sloppy. There’s a requirement now to keep quality as high as the cheese that won.

“There is a lot in everyday life that is routine, as I now have a great deal of responsibility for the farm’s business administration and keeping track of orders here and abroad. “But even with the focus

day-to-day operations require, some things are very different. For example, a Japanese television crew visited our farm, and we realised we would be appearing on a children’s educational programme that would be seen by 11 million viewers.” Rather than allow success to spoil him, the farm’s patriarch channels the positive energy into finding a greater audience for Fanaost, albeit in a disciplined, grass-roots kind of way. While the popularity of Fanaost within Norway has led to bigger domestic sales, it took last year’s win to get the family thinking about the ways to sell in other countries. Even with that, however, Hafslund says he wants to take things slowly, ensuring they can keep up with demand while maintaining quality. Continued affiliation with the Norwegian Farm Cheese Association and its network of artisan producers will, he adds, help Ostegården grow business on its own terms as well as enabling

it to support the efforts of other small Norwegian cheese makers. He appreciates the ongoing opportunity to brainstorm with other producers whenever a technical or business challenge arises. In effect, he sees himself and Ostegården as part of Team Norway when it comes to the long game. “It’s a change for us to know demand is so good,” Hafslund continues, pointing to the fact that Fanaost sold out in UK food shops in the afterglow of the win. “This means we can scale up and think bigger in appropriate ways without taking too much of a risk. “It’s like I’ve become a celebrity in the cheese universe, and if I travel around to sell my cheese, the stores know who I am. “We can’t afford to get sloppy, and there is a completely different requirement now to keep the quality of cheese as high as the one that won. “But we don’t have performance anxiety – we’re just very proud.” ostegarden.no


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country profile: united states

Ready and waiting A tricky international trading climate is making exports challenging for US artisan producers. But as ELYSE GLICKMAN reports, the promise of new craft cheeses, unconstrained by tradition – or PDO rules – is an intriguing prospect for European buyers when trade opens up. THE UNITED STATES has long been known as a “great melting pot”, and that’s more true than ever as US consumers and artisan food producers become increasingly global in their outlook. This, in turn, has inspired a new generation of American cheese producers from coast to coast to find creative ways to fuse Old World techniques with the geographical attributes of their regions. What ends up being produced – be it rooted in Swiss, Dutch, Italian, French, English or Spanish recipes – is unmistakably American in all the right ways. At the 2018 World Cheese Awards (WCAs), the US had a banner year, with its artisan cheesemakers taking home 89 awards: eight Super Golds, 25 Golds, 24 Silvers and 32 Bronzes. While the bloomy, barkwrapped Harbison, from Cellars At Jasper Hill in Vermont, was named the Best American Cheese, others recognized by the judges in Bergen included Montchevre

Kiss My Ash from Saputo Cheese USA in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Super Gold), Midnight Moon from Cypress Grove in Arcata, California (Super Gold) and the Muuna Classic Plain cottage cheese from Muuna in New York (Gold). The collective success of US producers was no small feat considering the inherent challenges of competing with local cheesemakers in Europe, on their own turf, without the same level of

support and subsidies that some European governments provide. However, under the direction of the US Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the USA Cheese Guild is currently pushing to get producers past those challenges and dispel prevailing myths about American cheese as a singular, bland, and predominantly industrial product. The US may be the world’s largest cheese producer and exporter but the Guild is educating industry and

Cheeses that are original to the US give consumers something they can’t find anywhere else Angélique Hollister, USA Cheese Guild

cheese lovers about the diversity of the US cheese landscape. Prime examples are the Guild’s sponsorship of this year’s Best USA Cows’ Milk Cheese trophy at the WCAs, and its ongoing financial and marketing support for producers, helping them participate in trade shows and international competitions. According to Angélique Hollister, executive director of the USA Cheese Guild, the current trading environment is limiting access to export opportunities, so the UK and other countries are missing out on what American artisanal producers have to offer. However, she argues that if those barriers can be overcome, the possibilities for American cheesemakers and enthusiasts from around the globe are endless. Once regulatory access permits, she says, the Guild will move forward to promote US cheeses in Britain and Europe as it already does via culinary education and retail

➔ GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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country profile: united states

Matthew Brichford of Jacobs & Brichford: “I’ve won seven different awards at the WCAs and that exposure definitely gets you noticed”

promotions in the Middle East, North Asia and Latin America. “They have really supported our participation in the WCAs, because they’re going to pay our shipping this year,” says Matthew Brichford, who owns and operates Jacobs & Brichford Farmstead Cheese in southeastern Indiana with wife Leslie Jacobs. “Even if winning the awards means being sold in just a few shops overseas, and even if we’re not dealing with a whole lot of volume, opportunities to compete [in events like the WCAs] certainly lend prestige to our brand and help with advertising and marketing.” Hollister suggests her nation’s long history as a melting pot of backgrounds and cultures is one of the selling points for artisanal cheese. Producers have plenty of experience but they’re not bound by tradition, leaving them free to create new cheeses that can only be found in the USA. For the European market in particular, she says, US cheeses allow consumers to experience a fresh twist on a classic. “Whether that comes from rubbing local lavender, or soaking curds in a local stout, cheeses that are original to the US give consumers something they can’t find anywhere else.” Lydia Burns, who specialises in 24

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sourcing speciality food products for retailers and restaurants, sees a number of export challenges faced by small US cheese producers, even as they are winning major awards on the international stage. In addition to distribution costs, which inevitably drive up the retail price of US cheeses abroad, and possible tariffs on the horizon, she says many European producers have the advantage of being generationsold family businesses. Many US producers, in contrast, are just getting off the ground. “When you’re starting a farm [for cheese production] from scratch, the price of your cheese will be higher, based on what the producers are paying for their land, their animals – especially with sheep and goats – and other costs,” she says. “Another advantage European producers have in keeping prices down is access to co-ops, where those making cheeses in the same area can share ageing facilities communally and keep prices lower.” At Zingerman’s Creamery near Ann Arbor, Michigan, retail operations manager Tessie IvesWilson says the small scale of many US cheesemakers and the costs of

keeping cheese in good condition during transport make it hard for them to compete aginst classic European-style cheeses on their home turf. But she adds: “The one category I feel is most poised for success in the European market is that of ‘American Originals.’ “Cheeses like Dry Jack, Teleme, and Brick that don’t have regional recipes from Europe really represent the innovation and experimentation that US cheesemakers are currently engaged in.” Despite the hurdles, several American cheese-producing pioneers are making inroads into export. Oregon’s Rogue Creamery, which has been successfully exporting Rogue River Blue, Smokey Blue, Caveman Blue, and Oregon Blue Cheese since 2007, shows how products with a distinctively New World influence and style can win over fans internationally. “All these cheeses are distinct but share characteristics in texture, with a fudgy, creamy, buttery mouthfeel and clean notes of sweet cream and pepper, finished with a hint of tang on the palate,” says David Gremmels, the president and

TEN AMERICAN CHEESES TO TRACK DOWN Brinza Feta Karoun Dairies, California A white, slightly grainy cows’ milk feta.

Cabot Clothbound cheddar Jasper Hill Farm, Vermont Lard-coated and cloth-bound, Cabot is ripened in a specially calibrated vault.

Griffin Sweet Grass Dairy, Georgia Made in the style of French farmhouse cheese, but localised by soaking curds in Terminus Porter, a Georgia stout.

Ameribella Jacobs & Brichford Cheese, Indiana Raw, semi-soft,, inspired by the washed rind cheeses of Northern Italy. Everton Jacobs & Brichford Cheese, Indiana Alpine-style, with a firm texture, and savoury-sweet flavour that gets sharper with age.

il Giardino Asiago Vecchio Saputo Specialty Cheese, Wisconsin Made in the style of a traditional Italian Asiago cheese, but aged for longer.

Rogue River Blue Rogue Creamery, Oregon A blue made using Basque and Provençal techniques, between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, from Brown Swiss and Holstein cows’ milk. Rogue Smokey Blue Rogue Creamery, Oregon A blue cheese gently and slowly cold-smoked over shells from Oregon. Hazelnuts infuse it with an added layer of flavour and terroir Barely Buzzed Beehive Cheese, Utah Cheddar hand-rubbed with espresso.

Whole milk feta Maplebrook Farm, Vermont Crafted in small batches from 100% Vermont cows’ milk, and available in block-style or crumbled.


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country profile: united states

David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery, whose wins at the World Cheese Awards helped open up exports of US artisan cheese

cheesemaker at Rogue Creamery. Even with the inherent appeal of Rogue Creamery’s products for foreign markets, it took a mix of wins in the WCS and a few other measures to carve out a trail from Oregon to shops in the UK – one that could also help future WCA winners and other independent cheesemakers. In 2003, says Gremmels, Rogue River Blue was awarded best American Cheese, Best Blue in the World and Reserve Champion overall. That created demand in Europe for Rogue River Blue, but it took nearly four years before the USDA came up with a health certificate to export raw milk cheese into the EU. “That said, the standards for creating organic cheeses like ours are strict and present real hurdles in exporting,” Gremmels adds. “The importer and distributor must be registered with the USDA TRACES program. There are few importers and distributors worldwide who are willing to add this level of scrutiny for keeping Organic Cheeses segregated from conventional cheeses. “This is a high bar worth getting registered for.” At Jacobs & Brichford Farmstead Cheese, Leslie Jacobs

and Matthew Brichford have been playing the long game, with the support of USDEC, to find export markets for their portfolio, which Brichford describes as “Europeanstyle cheeses with a definitive New World twist”. Since the family made contact with USDEC at an American Cheese Society conference some years back, they have been impressed with its efforts to build overseas markets for American cheeses. “I’ve won seven different awards at the World Cheese Awards, and that exposure definitely gets you noticed,” Brichford says in a Midwestern, matter-of-fact way. “While we haven’t been contacted by exporters other than USDEC, we are very much amenable to working with the right one to get our cheeses into new markets. “While most of our cheeses probably travel well, I am playing around with format of our JQ – a mold-ripened thing that falls between a brie and a camembert, and won a Silver at the WCAs a couple of years ago – to give it a little more shelf life should the opportunity to export come around.” “There’s always room in the

market for something new, for a little adventure, and I think that’s where American cheeses can fill a gap,” says Maize JacobsBrichford, who assists her family in marketing the cheese portfolio. She reiterates the family enterprise is committed to slow, steady and smart growth. “Basically, we riff on European styles of cheeses, and nobody else in America is necessarily doing it the way we do it.” Free of any PDO ties to a precise European recipe, they can be “a little more playful” and create something really original. “Our Ameribella, for example, may be based on the northern Italian Taleggio style, but it’s not going to taste exactly like it. Our Everton is not going to duplicate the Alpine styles that it’s based on. “This is intentional, as we want cheese lovers to enjoy our playful experiments, resulting in something fresh and different.” The USA Cheese Guild’s Hollister says innovation presents the biggest opportunity for US cheesemakers. By pushing traditional limits, she says, they can come up with “new and elegant flavour combinations and presentations of cheeses that can’t

be found anywhere else”. The Guild, she adds, is helping the world see that quality cheeses are not geography-specific or country-dependent – for example, by promoting the fact that all 50 US states now produce awardwinning cheeses. Lydia Burns, who previously served as senior procurement manager for retailer Pastoral Artisan Cheese Bread & Wine in Chicago, concurs with Hollister and others that while American producers can’t yet compete with Europeans for tradition and history, it’s potentially exciting that they are less restricted by Protected Designation of Origin rules. “As a European consumer, if you’re looking for a cheese that you’ve never experienced before, you’ll realize that there’s a lot of that happening in America,” Burns says. While there is innovation among Europe’s cheesemakers, she says, their US counterparts, scattered across a vast country, are each developing products with a specific identity and terroir. “A craft cheddar from Vermont or Wisconsin will be very different from a cheddar made in the UK.” usacheeseguild.org GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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At Kaltbach we really like to spoil our cheese. After careful selection, the process of refinement begins for the best wheels of Cheese Switzerland produces. Our Cavemasters examine them with all their senses, while caring, turning, checking, listening and feeling them with their experienced hands. Then, they place the wheels in our sandstone Cave to rest – the silence and the unique climate, combined with our skilled craftsmanship, round off the ripening process. It is only in this way that the spectacular aromas develop and after several months, our award winning masterpieces are ready to enjoy. For more information on our Kaltbach range of cheese go to www.emmi-kaltbach.com or email info.uk@emmi.com

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profile: carlo fiore

Italians love their aged cheeses, but Guffanti’s Carlo Fiore has taken this ardour to extremes – and earned his family firm a global following. MICK WHITWORTH reports. DEL POSTO restaurant in New York, Massimo Bottura at Osteria Francescana in Modena, Antonino Cannavacciuolo at Villa Crespi in Orta: just three of the more striking names on the customer list of fifth-generation Italian affineur Luigi Guffanti. The three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2018. Villa Crespi was credited with offering diners the best cheese selection in Italy last year. Add retailers La Cave a Fromage in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Eataly (everywhere from New York to Tokyo), and you start to see the reach of the Guffanti name. Nearly two-thirds of Guffanti cheese is exported to customers like these around the globe, and it holds 300 different varieties in stock at any time. Ninety percent of those will be Italian, but topflight clients can also buy British cheeses like Stichelton and Golden Cross from Guffanti, along with Comté from France, Sao Jorge from Portugal or Cabrales from Spain. Yet this is a business with just 20 employees, a relatively modest €6.6 million turnover and only around €650,000 of cheese in stock at any one time. Or at least, €650,000 is what it was worth when it entered Guffanti’s cellars in Arona, on the southern shores of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. The price when it leaves will be somewhat higher, because this family-run business is most highly revered for its pioneering approach to maturation, taking already high quality farmhouse cheeses and ageing them way beyond the usual limits to create premium cheeses for premium outlets. “I’d call it ‘pushing the boundaries’,” says Jason Hinds of the UK’s Neal’s Yard Dairy itself no slouch when it comes

Age of extremes Carlo Fiore: “Ageing helps underline and enrich the characteristics of the milk, and hence the cheese”

to bringing out the best in artisan cheeses. “They’re not afraid to mature cheese, and that gives them their USP. There are customers who go to them because they can’t get that anywhere else.” Hinds has regularly supplied British artisan cheese to Guffanti

– most often Montgomery’s cheddar from Somerset – and says: “I’ve seen cheese aged way beyond anywhere we would go.” In some ways, he suggests, a business like Guffanti could only emerge in Italy. “There’s a more extreme approach to maturing

cheeses – burying it in the ground for six months, or drowning it in the lees of the local liqueur that’s very much part of the Italian cheesemonger’s DNA.” The man who put Guffanti on the map as a maturation specialist – becoming something GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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profile: carlo fiore

picking the partners that Guffanti work with. Once they’ve got that quality of cheese in their possession, that’s when they can start pushing the boundaries.” One example is the stretchedcurd Caclocavallo Podolico, from Basilicata in southern Italy’s Campania region, which Guffanti sources from a single farmer with 1,000 rare-breed Podolico cattle. “They live on 1,000 hectares of pasture,” Fiore tells Good Cheese, “so that’s a hectare for each animal!” Another is the intensely flavoured raw milk Toma Bettelmatt, a scarce alpine cheese, produced only in July and August at high altitude, close to the border with Switzerland. “Italy’s geography means you can find very specific - and unique – cheeses in any region,” says Fiore, reeling off some examples worth tracking down, like the cows’ milk Formaggio del Ticcio in Valsesia, north of Piedmont; Sicily’s Tuma Persa; and Formaggio di Pecora di Bitti, which he describes as “an extraordinary example of sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia”. Not that Guffanti has turned its back on Parmesan and Grana Padano. A video of Fiore making the first cut of a Parmigiano

cheeses, refined with the addition of other ingredients, that he opts for, including some specifically developed by Guffanti. They include Erborinato Sancarlone al caffè: a blue cheese made with cows’ milk from Novarra, which Guffanti cures in a coating of coffee for at least three months. Another is Mormaggio - an umami-laden fusion of Italian cheese and Moromi soy sauce, created jointly by Guffanti and Japanese affineur Yoshitomi Miyamoto. Both are as likely to appeal to Millennials as the more traditional consumer, and Fiore – who is gradually handing over control of Guffanti now to sons Davide and Giovanni – seems confident about the appeal of specialist cheeses to the next generation. “More and more young people in Italy are getting involved and interested in aged cheeses,” he says. “There are universities here dedicating courses to the subject, and we’ve had PhD students working on their theses in our caves.” It’s important, he says, for a company like Luigi Guffanti to help spread knowledge and appreciation of “well chosen, well aged” cheese, the people who make it, and its place in a healthy diet

When I started, in 1970, the only ‘aged’ cheeses were Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padana Guffanti holds some 300 cheeses in stock, 90% of them from its home country

of an Italian food icon himself in the process – is Carlo Fiore, who joined his family’s business in the 1970s. “When I began in this market, the only aged cheeses in Italy were Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano,” he tells Good Cheese, “and they were mainly used as ‘table’ cheeses, just to accompany pasta and risotto.” Fiore set out to rediscover the roots of cheese, not just as a means of preserving milk in the farmhouse but as an expression of the land it came from and the animals that produced the milk. Now he says - helped by greater interest in the world of chefs and 30

GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

fine cooking generally – there is much more appreciation for the ‘message’ that particular cheeses can deliver. “Ageing helps underline and enrich the characteristics of the milk, and so of the cheese.” Hinds, for whom Carlo Fiore is something of a food hero, says it’s part of the veteran affineur’s special contribution to the sector that he has ventured deep into Italy’s community of small farmers, tracking down cheeses that will respond best to maturing for four years, five, six or, on occasion, upwards of 10 years. “Carlo’s spent a lot of time

aged for a staggering 13 years has received nearly 2.5 million views on YouTube. But stretched cheeses like Caclocavallo and Provolone, and even little soft goats’ cheeses like Robiola, can respond equally well to the affineur’s art. Interestingly, when Good Cheese asks which products he is most proud to have championed during his long career, Fiore doesn’t opt for a rare alpine variety or a delicate soft cheese from a tiny producer. Instead – reflecting Hinds’ comment about the fearlessness of Italian affineurs – it’s the more complex

and a healthy environment. “Customers need to be aware that traditional, artisanal cheeses aren’t just ‘cool’ as an idea they’re also healthy. They need to know about the effort put in by artisan producers, working in an unpredictable, natural environment, respecting and caring for their animals, and all the other elements that contribute to a unique, hand-crafted product. “In a fast-growing, fastchanging society, that’s what we need to underline as a way to live better: quality, not quantity.” guffantiformaggi.com


GREAT TASTING CHEESE FROM FIFE “utterly delicious”… “very moreish cheese’’ …“deeply satisfying’’… “outstanding’’

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GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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The

Britalian

job

With so many Brits heading to Italy for this year’s World Cheese Awards, PATRICK McGUIGAN invited a select band of experts from both nations to a friendly bilateral tasting. Italian classics versus British upstarts - who’ll come out on top? 32

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taste test

AN INDUSTRIAL ESTATE near Wimbledon is an unlikely spot to gather leading cheesemongers in an epic taste test of some of the best cheeses from Britain and Italy. The reason we’ve asked them to come to this gritty part of South London is that hidden among the scaffolders, garages and builder’s yards is Vallebona – one of the capital’s most respected Italian food importers. Set up by Stefano Vallebona more than 20 years ago, the company supplies customers including Le Gavroche and River Cafe, with the stylish whitewashed shop and warehouse a treasure trove of Italian cheese. This is useful because ahead of the World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Good Cheese has decided it would be interesting (and fun) to

compare Britain’s new wave of artisan cheeses with the ‘grande formaggi’ of Italy. While Stefano and Vallebona’s business development manager Flora Baring are bringing Italian cheese expertise, flying the flag for Britain are Dan Bliss, manager of Paxton & Whitfield’s famous Jermyn Street store, and Michael Paradise, the wholesale manager of respected cheese retailer and wholesaler La Fromagerie. As we compare and contrast similar styles of cheese from both countries, the conversation naturally turns to how the different cheesemaking industries are evolving. Britain has seen a renaissance in artisan

cheesemaking in the past three decades after a decline in the post-war years, explains Dan Bliss. “British cheesemakers are taking inspiration from Continental cheeses, but making them their own,” she says. “We might say that Rollright [a spruce-wrapped, washed-rind cheese from the Cotswolds] is like Vacherin, but it’s not really. It has its own unique character.” Michael Paradise nods in agreement: “British cheesemakers seem to be far more open to trying new things. We have young cheesemakers experimenting, which is not always the case on the Continent.” After making the UK his home, Stefano Vallebona is impressed by the creativity of

➔ ROUND 2

Rollright Oxfordshire Washed rind cows’ milk. Pasteurised. Cheesemaker David Jowett’s buttery cheese has been one of British cheese’s biggest success stories of recent years. Vallebona’s Baring is impressed with the yeasty, aromatic flavour of the rind and the custardy paste, which also picks up notes from the spruce band that encircles the cheese. “ It’s woody and piney and doughy – a remarkable flavour,” she says.

37 Castelmagno (l) Cheshire (R)

Taleggio Lombardy Washed rind cows’ milk. Pasteurised. The “Grandaddy of Taleggio”, according to Baring, Vallebona’s soft, supple cheese is made in Lombardy, where 89-year-old company founder Giovanni still gets his hands in the vat. “It’s got a lovely peppery flavour and the acidity is also making me salivate,” she says. “Sometimes Taleggio can be gritty on the rind, but there is none of that with this cheese,” adds Paradise.

ROUND 1

Brightwell Ash Oxfordshire Soft goats’ cheese. Raw milk. Made by Norton & Yarrow with milk from AngloNubian goats, this 10-day-old wrinkly rinded goats’ cheese has a moussey texture that has the cheesemongers purring. “It’s like ice cream with a grassy acidity,” says Bliss, while Baring loves the earthy tang from the “wonderful layer of goo” beneath the rind. Caprino Netro Piedmont Soft goats’ cheese, sprinkled with saffron. Raw milk. This pretty goats’ cheese has been aged for 20 days when we try it. The cheese has more length than the Brightwell and complex spicy, animal notes. “You can really taste the raw milk,” says Vallebona. Paradise highlights its earthy flavour and the subtle contribution of the saffron. “A few extra day’s ageing makes a big difference to the flavour of these kinds of cheese,” says Bliss. Verdict Judges split 2-2. Deciding vote is cast by Patrick McGuigan in favour of the Caprino because of its greater complexity. Britain 0 – 1 Italy

Verdict All four judges vote for Taleggio. Britain 0 – 2 Italy

ROUND 3

Appleby’s Cheshire Shropshire Crumbly cows’ milk cheese. Raw milk. Vallebona’s eyes light up as he chews on a slice of Appleby’s – a traditional Cheshire made with raw milk and annatto (which gives the orange hue). “I love the texture - it’s grainy and crumbly and delicate,” he says. Aged for six months, the cheese has a juicy acidity and long, mellow savoury finish. Bliss describes it as “yoghurty lightness”, while Baring highlights floral notes just beneath the rind. Castelmagno Piedmont Crumbly cows’ milk cheese. Raw milk. An unusual cheese from the hills of Piedmont, Castelmagno is worshipped in its home region for its super-crumbly texture and acidic flavour. “It’s an edgy cheese that is actually quite hard to sell over here,” says Vallebona. “It almost takes your breath away because its so sharp,” says Baring. Bliss describes the powdery texture as “just like shortbread”. Verdict All four judges vote for Cheshire. Britain 1 – Italy 2 GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

33


taste test

British cheese, but says Italy is more traditional because it never lost its cheesemaking skills. “There’s a young, enthusiastic vibe in England that is really exciting,” he says. “But in Italy it tends to be second-, third- and fourthgeneration cheesemakers who are more focused on improving the quality of the cheeses they are already making.” The final score in our friendly match was 3:2 to the Italians. But whether innovative or traditional, what became clear as 12 British and Italian cheeses went head to head is that both countries have what it takes to be World Cheese Awards champions.

ROUND 5

Beauvale Nottinghamshire Soft, blue cows’ milk. Pasteurised. Cropwell Bishop is famous for Stilton, but the third-generation cheesemaker took inspiration from milder Continental blues when developing Beauvale, which is squidgy, creamy and flecked with blue. “When I taste this I know I am in England,” says Vallebona. “It’s got that layer of earthy, mouldy flavour you don’t get in Italian cheese.” Everyone around the table praises its texture as being like “melted ice cream” or “clotted cream”. Gorgonzola Dolce Piedmont Soft blue cows’ milk. Pasteurised. Italy’s most famous blue cheese is much paler than the golden Beauvale, with delicate streaks of bluey-green veins in the gooey paste. But judges felt the flavour and texture didn’t reach the same heights. “I’m surprised by how separate the blue is from the paste,” says Bliss. “It has an almost dual texture. I’m also getting a little bit of ammonia.” Verdict All four judges vote for Beauvale. Britain 2 – Italy 3

OUR TASTING PANEL

Flora Baring, Vallebona

Dan Bliss, Paxton & Whitfield

Michael Paradise, La Fromagerie

Stefano Vallebona, Vallebona

Special thanks to Vallebona, Paxton & Whitfield and La Fromagerie for providing cheese, expertise and, in the case of Stefano Vallebona, a tasting venue too. Photography: Isabelle Plasschaert

ROUND 4

Old Winchester Hampshire Hard cows’ milk. Pasteurised Ask a cheesemonger for a vegetarian alternative to Parmigiano Reggiano and they will probably recommend Old Winchester. The aged farmhouse cheese from Lyburn Farm is known for being fruity, hard and crystalline, and good for grating. Except the 19-month cheese we try is surprisingly moist and savoury. “It’s got a really smoky and meaty aroma, which I wasn’t expecting,” says Paradise. Vallebona is not a fan: “I get a lot of bitter notes at the end.” Parmigiano Reggiano Emilia Romagna Hard cows’ milk. Raw milk The cheesemongers around the table all agree that the 24-month Parmesan is a cut above. A balance of fruity, savoury and dairy flavours are all detected. “There’s an obsession that aged cheeses are the best, but 36 months would be too much for this cheese,” says Paradise. Bliss agrees: “You would lose the flavour of the season if it was older.” Verdict All four judges vote for Parmigiano Reggiano. Britain 1 – Italy 3 34

GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

ROUND 6

Berkswell West Midlands Hard sheep’s milk. Raw milk. Sometimes described as Britain’s answer to Pecorino, Berkswell is made at Ram Hall Farm and has a sweet, tropical fruit flavour balanced by savoury length. “This tastes like the sheep have been grazing on a lush golf course,” says Vallebona. “With the Pecorino, you can almost smell the scorched landscape.” Pecorino Sardo Sardinia Hard sheep’s milk. Raw milk. There’s bite, spice and animal notes to the Pecorino, and the texture is drier with an oily sheen. “Berkswell is like lamb – sweet, succulent and tender,” says Bliss. “Pecorino is like mutton: deep, savoury and intense.” “You can taste that the sheep have had to walk far and work hard in the hot sun,” says Paradise. “Both of them show that terroir really matters.” Verdict Judges are split down the middle. Patrick McGuigan says both cheeses are as good as each other, in different ways. Tied round. FINAL SCORE: Britain 2 – Italy 2


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great cheese books

Igorr/Dreamstime

The written curd Bill de la Hey of The Mainstreet Trading Company, a multi-award winning deli, bookshop & café in the Scottish Borders, chooses his best cheesy reads

ON BILL’S WISH LIST... Home-Made Cheese: From Simple Butter, Yogurt and Fresh Cheeses to Soft, Hard and Blue Cheeses, an Expert’s Guide to Making Successful Cheese at Home Paul Thomas Lorenz Books (2016) The Art of Natural Cheesemaking: Using Traditional Methods and Natural Ingredients to Make the World’s Best Cheeses Paul Asher Chelsea Green Publishing (2015) Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide for HomeScale and Market Producers Gianaclis Caldwell 2013

Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the Fight for Real Cheese Bronwen and Francis Percival Bloomsbury Publishing (2017) For those applauding farmhouse cheesemaking and making a stand against mass industrial production. Looking at a sustainable future for cheese and how the natural environment informs cheesemaking led by wondrous microbes. Cheese and Culture: A History of Cheese and Its Place in Western Civilisation Paul Kindstedt Chelsea Green Publishing (2013) For both those studying cheesemaking and the cheese geek. Covers a wealth of topics. The Oxford Companion to Cheese Dr. Catherine Donnelly (editor) Oxford University Press (2016) A modern bible full of expert knowledge.

The Sheridans’ Guide to Cheese Kevin and Seamus Sheridan Transworld Ireland (2015) Good for cheesemongers and food retailers – the story of the rise of a legendary Irish shop backed with interesting facts about the people, farming and history of cheesemaking. Cheese Patricia Michelson Jacqui Small LLP (2010) Also good for cheese mongers and cheese eaters – a journey through hundreds of different varieties of cheese and the stories behind them. Cheese: The essential guide to cooking with cheese Michel Roux Quadrille Publishing (2017) Over 100 wonderful recipes from the acclaimed French chef. Michel came to our shop for an author event and regaled us with unassuming stories of growing up eating and using cheese in France and then in his restaurants.

The Modern Cheesemaker: Making and cooking with cheeses at home Morgan McGlynn White Lion Publishing (2018) For the cheesemaking beginner. She also did a demo at the shop which showed us how achievable it is to make cheese at home. Good selection of recipes. Cheese & Dairy: River Cottage Handbook No.16 Steven Lamb Bloomsbury Publishing (2018) From the brilliant stable of handbooks for the the foodie and aspiring cheesemakers to a reasonable high level of skill. Extensive recipe section. American Farmstead Cheese: The Complete Guide to Making and Selling Artisan Cheeses Paul Kindstedt Chelsea Green Publishing (2005) I’m part the way through this book. Technically sound and full of information for the budding cheese professional. GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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From the heart of the Yorkshire Dales… Custodians of a 1000-year heritage, Wensleydale Creamery is the home of the creamy, crumbly classic that is Yorkshire Wensleydale. By stocking Yorkshire Wensleydale your customers can be assured and delighted that they are buying authentic cheese, handcrafted to time-honoured recipes by our team of skilled master cheese-makers, using pure local Wensleydale milk. Our cheeses are as timeless, traditional and universally loved as the beautiful Dale from which they come.

www.wensleydale.co.uk

Meet Affineur Walo and find out more about his cheese at: FindMeet out more about Affineur Walo Affineur Walo and find International Food Exhibition, cheese onabout The Fine Co out more his Cheese cheese at:

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GOOD CHEESE 2019-20


International Cheese Expo for industry professionals

The cheese business is fast-forwarding Bergamo, 17th-18th October 2019 B2Cheese is a unique event where trade fair, business, education and culture are combined in an innovative format, aimed exclusively at business operators of the dairy industry. Because the cheese business is fast-forwarding.

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GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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FORME supports


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accompaniments

Sensational sidekicks Great cheese needs an equally good partner to share a board with. We asked LAUREN PHILLIPS of our sister magazine Fine Food Digest for her pick of the latest pickles, chutneys, fruit cheeses, crackers and cheese biscuits. Those seeking preserves to pair with specific cheeses should consider the Signature Pairings for Cheese range from Spanish food specialist Delicioso. The five chutneys range from raspberry, rose petals & Szechuan pepper for fresh, soft cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella to apple, Turkish pistachios & Sri Lankan cinnamon for hard cheeses such as manchego, gouda and parmesan. delicioso.co.uk

Black Bomber cheddar can be found on most UK cheese counters, but now maker Snowdonia Cheese Company has delved into accompaniments with a range of chutneys. The collection includes four varieties: a sweet balsamic caramelised onion, a fruity fig & apple, a chunky pear, date & cognac, and a Bloody Mary-inspired spiced tomato & vodka chutney. snowdoniacheese.co.uk Paxton & Whitfield’s new plain, all-round cracker is a back-to-basics approach in a sea of flavoured varieties. Its Original Crackers are said to have a mellow flavour that complements stronger partners such as Cashel Blue, and a snap that lends itself well to buttery cheeses like Brie de Meaux and Rollright. paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk

Smoked apple butter for cheese is a brand-new preserve from Rosebud Preserves. Despite the name, the product contains no butter, but is said to be similar to an apple purée, combining Bramleys, Granny Smith and smoked Bramleys with cider vinegar, vanilla and whisky. Good Cheese’s own Patrick McGuigan says this sweet, smokey preserve is a terrific match for blues. rosebudpreserves.co.uk

The Zingiberi Bakery has added a ‘warm chilli’ cracker variety to its The Captain’s Crackers brand. Oat-based crackers made with honey, black pepper, sea salt and seeds, they also come in completely compostable packaging. thezingiberibakery. co.uk

Ouse Valley Foods’ new season Boarshead pear chutney with juniper is described as “a fragrant and subtly sweet chutney” that also pays homage to “one of the most underrated orchard fruits”. Fresh pears and crushed juniper berries add fruity and fragrant notes to this delicately balanced chutney. ousevalleyfoods.com

Knekkebrod – also known as snap crackers – are a traditional staple of Scandinavian cuisine and MOR Hjerte Bakeri has brought its own to the UK. Newly available from The Fine Cheese Co, they come in three varieties – rye & butter, cornmeal & poppy seed, and wholemeal spelt & sourdough – and make a suitable base for a crumbly Lancashire. finecheese.co.uk

Damson fruit cheese from Claire’s Handmade is made with just two ingredients: slowcooked Cumbrian Lyth Valley damsons and sugar. This traditional, rich, sliceable preserve will add an attractive visual element to any cheeseboard. Owner Claire Kent says it marries excellently with Cropwell Bishop Stilton. claireshandmade.com

➔ GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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accompaniments

A soft, washed-rind mild cheese would make an ideal partner to these fig & almond doublebaked seeded crisps from Australian brand Olina’s Bakehouse. Baked in small batches, the crisps join other flavours such as cranberry & pumpkin seed and cashew & rosemary.

Candied jalapeños from Marlow-based Haynes Gourmet combine the right amount of sweetness and spice to add a kick to any soft brie, baked camembert or extra mature cheddar. Judges at this year’s Great Taste awards agreed, awarding it one-star. haynesgourmet.com

ScandiKitchen brought its Swedish premium jams to the UK earlier this year and its Wild Cloudberry variety, with its deep umami undertones, can stand up to any strong cheese. An amber-coloured edible fruit, the cloudberry is close to a raspberry or blackberry and grows in the north of the Arctic circle. scandikitchen.co.uk

Charlotte Brown’s combines fruit and citrus with roasted cardamom and warming mace to create its new, gently spiced fig & pear chutney. This versatile preserve pairs well with a range of cheeses, but owner Charlotte says it brings out “the tang of a Lancashire or Wensleydale” and is great with Fontina Val d’Aosta or even Gorgonzola. RRP £3.75, 210g jars. charlottebrowns.co.uk

This sticky fig compote would complement any neighbouring cheese on a board, but its maker Oxford Cheese Company says it’s delicious with ewes’ milk cheeses like a semi-soft Wigmore or a hard Manchego. It is hand made in small batches with whole figs and demerara sugar. oxfordcheese.co.uk

Cheeseboard Champions is a new pack from The Bay Tree featuring four of its signature preserves, including its cheeseboard chutney for soft cheese and rosemary & gin jelly for blue. There’s also a “robust and sweet” sticky figgy chutney, ideal with fresh tasting goats’ cheese, and a spicy apple & onion chutney for strong, hard cheeses like gouda. RRP £2.25, 100g jar. thebaytree.co.uk

Tracklements has added two Special Edition meat-based jams to its collection: a bacon & onion jam made with pan-fried bacon, caramelised onions and balsamic vinegar, and a chilli & chorizo variety using The Bath Pig’s chorizo. The bacon & onion jam jazzes up cheese on toast, while the chilli & chorizo works well with Manchego. tracklements.co.uk

Waterhouse Fayre developed its new mangelwurzel preserve for customers requesting a crunchy pickle to go with a ploughman’s lunch. Despite the name, the preserve doesn’t contain mangelwurzel (a fodder crop that is no longer grown widely). Instead, swede (the nearest equivalent) is combined with tomatoes, apple, onion and spices. waterhousefayre. co.uk

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Beer and cheese are well-known partners but Co Derry’s Tamnagh Foods has gone one further with its Wee Crafty artisan beer spreads. Designed for spooning onto cheese, the flavours are inspired by Irish craft beers like Irish Kölsch (from 08 Kölsch brewed by Northbound Brewery in Derry City) and an Armagh Cider (using Longmeadow’s Medium Dry Cider from Armagh). tamnaghfoods.com

Easy Bean’s bean and seed crackers are made with British pulses and come in three flavours: fava bean & poppy seed, green pea & chia seed and red lentil & poppy seed. The crackers are said to have “wholegrain and earthy flavours with a hint of sweetness”. easybean.co.uk


BISCUITS FOR CHEESE

FROM THE ISLE OF LEWIS Made to traditional recipes passed down for generations by our team of skilled craft bakers, our Water Biscuits and Oatcakes are ideal for creating cheeseboards or canapés as they work delightfully well with a wide range of toppings. Tel: 01851 702733 sales@stagbakeries.co.uk www.stagbakeries.co.uk

Milleens cheese is Ireland’s longest established farmhouse cheese. Handmade on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, we make Milleens in three sizes 100g, 200g and 1.3kg.

2 Star Winner, 2019

The original Milleens (made to the recipe we’ve been using since 1974) along with Milleens Camembeara, a bloomy rinded cheese that we launched this summer, are all available to the discerning retailer. We also smoke our cheeses using local wood and in autumn, a buffalo milk version of our cheese is also available.

Milleens Dote

Dunnes Stores Pungent & Tangy Milleens

Milleens Cead

www.milleenscheese.com If you’d be interested in stocking (or distributing) Milleens please contact Quinlan Steele 00353 862105267 quin@milleenscheese.com

GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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MULTI AWARD-WINNING ARTISAN CHARCUTERIE MADE WITH PASSION IN CORNWALL WHOLESALE **** RETAIL **** FOODSERVICE

Deli Farm Charcuterie Delabole, Cornwall PL33 9BZ 01840 214106 www.delifarmcharcuterie.co.uk dfc@delifarmcharcuterie.co.uk

Award Winning Cheese made in Sussex

ONE OF A RANGE OF CHEESES FROM HIGH WEALD High Weald Dairy, Tremains Farm, Horsted Keynes, Sussex Tel: 01825 791636 www.highwealddairy.co.uk 44

GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

RH17 7EA

For a Perfect Cheeseboard Part of our Cheeseboard Champions set

www.thebaytree.co.uk

hello@thebaytree.co.uk

01963 828020


accessories & gifts

Part of the Historic Royal Palaces gift collection, the Ballyshane cheeseboard is produced by a family company in Carlow, south west Ireland, from 100% sustainable Irish hardwoods. Prices from £24.99. historicroyalpalaces.com

Go Greek with this beechwood meze cheeseboard and accessories from Garden Trading, including the Ithaca ceramic bowl and spoon, ceramic serving tray and four brass meze knives. gardentrading.co.uk

Fine slivers of cheese melt quickly on the tongue, making tools like this Creative Tops gourmet cheese slicer (£9) great for tastings, whether in the cheese shop or at the dinner table. kitchencraft.co.uk

It’s time to accessorize, with our round-up of the latest knives, boards and gifts for cheese lovers

Set the table in style A rustic acacia wood serving board is accompanied by a painted, stainless steel cheese knife and a wine bottle opening tool in this Gentleman’s Hardware cheeseboard & knife set (£28) from Wild & Wolf store. wildandwolf.co.uk

Learn to tell Roquefort from Gorgonzola while drying the dishes with this 100% cotton Classic Cheeses of the World tea towel (£11) from Red Candy. redcandy.co.uk

Brighten your table with this Colourworks three-piece knife set, with stainless steel blades designed for hard, soft and crumbly cheeses. kitchencraft.co.uk

➔ GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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accessories & gifts

Someone forget the bottle opener? The Gentleman’s Hardware cheese & wine multi tool will save the day. Splitting into two parts, it combines a corkscrew, bottle opener and can opener with four blades for slicing and spreading “every kind of cheese”. £25 from Wild & Wolf. wildandwolf.co.uk This unusual cow horn butter knife (£9.50) from QASA QASA is handcrafted in Uganda from sustainably sourced Ankole cattle horn, and can be used for soft cheeses or paté too. qasaqasa.co.uk No-one enjoys cheese more than Kitto the Mouse - part of the hand-felted Tiny Mice of Cornwall collection by Sew Heart Felt. Around 11cm long and clutching a big chunk of cheese, Kitto costs £15.95 from Hurn & Hurn. hurnandhurn.com

Get your dinner guests groaning all the way to the cheese course with this pack of 100 Cheesy Jokes (£7) from Ridley’s Games. wildandwolf.co.uk

A throwback to the days of maxi dresses, wide lapels and Annabel’s Party, the quirky Wooden Cactus Hors d’Oeuvres Holder (£13.95) lets you serve cheese chunks, olives or even (surely) cocktail cherries, skewered on cactus ‘spikes’. melodymaison.co.uk

A serious-looking piece of kit from top German chef’s knife maker Dick, this universal cheese knife is said to ideal for cutting all semi-hard and hard varieties. dick.de A sausage-dog serving board is not just for sausage, as these Orla Kiely Dachshund serving boards demonstrate. The doggy-shaped acacia wood boards are £44.95 from Annabel James. annabeljames.co.uk

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If brie and camembert are your cheeses of choice, why not serve them in full French style with this collection of gourmet cheese plates and brie bakers from Kitchen Craft, featuring vintage-style cheese labels. kitchencraft.co.uk

If you’re looking for a serving idea that’s a bit more sophisticated than a rustic chunk of timber, how about this 30cm diameter round cheese board & knife set from VonShef? Made from acacia wood, with an integrated slate board, it includes a slide-out tray containing four woodenhandled cheese tools. domubrands.com


TRADITIONAL CHEESE HANDCRAFTED O N O U R FA M I LY FA R M From our family farm in West Limerick, we produce a range of handcrafted, artisan, award winning cheeses, including: Cahill’s Original Irish Porter Cheddar, Cahill’s Irish Whiskey Cheddar with Kilbeggan Whiskey, Cahill’s Ardagh Red Wine Cheddar, Cahill’s Blueberry and Vodka Cheddar, Cahill’s Original Irish Crème Liqueur Cheddar. The cornerstone of our business is that each cheese is individually made and handcrafted thus retaining the subtlety of flavour that is invariably absent from the mass produced product.

E:info@cahillscheese.ie, Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @cahillscheese, www.cahillscheese.ie +353 6962365

Kentish Handmade Cheese A traditional unpasteurised, cloth bound cellar matured hard cheese from the county of Kent.

XL REFRIGERATORS Specialists in refrigerated displays Tel: 0113 2577 277 www.xlrefrigerators.com

One of the most local farm produced cheeses to London One of the most local farm produced cheeses to London and soon achieving carbon neutral production. and now carbon neutrally produced.

www.winterdale.co.uk +44 (0)1732 820021 Winterdale, Platt House Lane, Wrotham, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 7LX GOOD CHEESE 2019-20

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ESTABLISHED IN 1982, IRELAND’S FIRST ARTISAN GOATS CHEESE

For a unique taste of the West of Ireland

www.st-tola.ie info@st-tola.ie www.facebook.com/sainttola @sttolacheese

Love cheese? Know your Ricotta from your Roquefort? Delve deeper under the rind and become an Associate of the Academy of Cheese. The Academy of Cheese is all about improving cheese knowledge, from helping to curate an epic cheese board to developing careers behind the counter. With four levels to complete before becoming a fullyqualified Master of Cheese, your journey begins with the basic Level 1 Associate certification course at the School of Fine Food in London. During this fun, hands-on one-day course, you’ll learn a structured approach to tasting. You’ll cover cheese making, provenance, terminology and much more, backed up with a little home study (and more tasting) before completing the online certification. Price: £195 (inc. VAT) Book online: gff.co.uk/cheesecourse Book by phone: +44 (0)1747 825200 Book by email: bookings@gff.co.uk

A perfect gift for anyone who loves cheese School of Fine Food 42 Southwark Street, London SE1 1UN gff.co.uk | @guildoffinefood

www. l a st e rc e r a s . c o m E-mail: info@lasterceras.com

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st.tolaqueen


STONE 1.4_GREAT BRITISH FOOD 17/01/2018 15:36 Page 1

FROM THEIR ABBEY FARM MILK

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Helfeit - A sweet “brunost” (brown cheese) goats’ cheese traditionally made in a tin.

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APPLEBY’S MAKE ARTISANAL DAIRY PRODUCTS FROM THEIR APPLEBY’S MAKEABBEY ARTISANAL DAIRY PRODUCTS FARM MILK

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Defending champion of NM i OST Gold in 2019

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follow: applebyscheese

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email: dairy@applebyscheese.co.uk | 01948 840221

follow: applebyscheese

For more information please contact us either by email or by phone.

email: dairy@applebyscheese.co.uk | 01948 840221 For more information please contact us either by email or by phone.

Stock up now! Great with all British and continental cheeses!

APPLEBY’S MAKE ARTISANAL DAIRY PRODUCTS FROM THEIR ABBEY FARM MILK follow: applebyscheese

Handmade in West Cork since 1979 email: dairy@applebyscheese.co.uk | 01948 840221 00 353 27 61100

For more information please contact us either by email or by phone.

Clare Scott Dryden mb 07973 215 407 clare@riversidelifestyle.co.uk www.bonillacrispsuk.co.uk

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directory of retailers

Where to buy good cheese IRELAND The Little Cheese Shop Greys Lane Dingle Kerry V92X07X 00353 877578672 thelittlecheeseshop.ie

NORTHERN IRELAND Four Seasons Cherry Valley 38-40 Gilnahirk Road Cherryvalley Belfast Antrim BT5 7DG 028 90792701 thefourseasonsni.co.uk

MIDLANDS Aubrey Allen. 108 Warwick Street Leamington Spa Warwickshire CV32 4QP 02476 421666 aubreyallenleamington. co.uk The Melton Cheeseboard 8 Windsor Street Melton Mowbray Leicestershire LE13 1BU 01664 562257 meltoncheeseboard.co.uk The Cheese Society 1 St Martin’s Lane Lincoln Lincolnshire LN2 1HY 01522 511003 thecheesesociety.co.uk

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Chinley Cheese 5 Green Lane Chinley High Peak Derbyshire SK23 6AA 01663 750 521 chinleycheese.com

SCOTLAND The Mainstreet Trading Company Main Street St Boswells Melrose Scottish Borders TD6 0AT 01835 824 087 mainstreetbooks.co.uk The House of Bruar The Foodhall By Blair Athol Pitlochry Perth and Kinross PH18 5TW 01796 483 236 houseofbruar.com/ food-hall Corner on the Square 1 - 3 High Street Beauly Inverness-shire IV4 7BY 01463 783 000 corneronthesquare.co.uk Food for Thought The Brae New Deer Turriff Aberdeenshire AB53 6TG 01771 644 366 foodforthoughtdeli.co.uk

WALES Ginhaus Deli 1 Market Street Llandeilo Carmarthenshire SA19 6AH 01558 823030 ginhaus.co.uk Porter’s Delicatessen Market Street Llangollen Denbighshire LL20 8PS 01978 862990 portersdelicatessen.co.uk The Hours Deli 15/16 Ship Street Brecon Powys LD3 9AD 01874 622800 thehoursbrecon.co.uk

NORTH The Pickled Fig 24-26 Prestongate Hessle East Riding of Yorkshire HU13 0RE 01482 646115 thepickledfig.co.uk The Lambing Shed Farm Shop & Café Moseley Hall Farm Chelford Road Knutsford Cheshire WA16 8RB 01565 631027 thelambingshed.com The Chopping Block 5 Two Lions Square New Squares Penrith Cumbria

CA11 7FX 01768 870968 thechoppingblockpenrith. co.uk The Cheeseboard 1 Commercial Street Harrogate North Yorkshire HG1 1UB 01423 508837 thecheeseboard.net Liverpool Cheese Company Sailsbury Dairy 29a Woolton Street Liverpool Merseyside L25 5NH 0151 428 3942 liverpoolcheesecompany. co.uk Godfrey C. Williams & Son Market Square Sandbach Cheshire CW11 1AP 01270 762817 godfreycwilliams.co.uk Gillions of Crosby 128-130 College Road Crosby Liverpool Merseyside L23 3DP 0151 924 4057 gillionsofcrosby.co.uk Corbridge Larder 18 Hill Street Corbridge Northumberland NE45 5AA 01434 632948 corbridgelarder.co.uk

SOUTH WEST Bloomfields Fine Food Highworth 8 High Street Highworth Swindon Wiltshire SN6 7AG 01793 766399 bloomfieldsfinefood.co.uk

LONDON/ SOUTH EAST Shearer’s Fine Foods The Old Post Office Lewes Road Forest Row East Sussex RH18 5EZ 07753 312030 shearersfinefoods.co.uk Oxford Cheese Company 17 The Covered Market Street Oxford Oxfordshire OX1 3DU 01865 721420 oxfordcheese.co.uk Halsey’s Deli 10 Market Place Hitchin Hertfordshire SG5 1DS 01462 432023 halseysdeli.co.uk H . Gunton 81-83 Crouch Street Colchester Essex CO3 3EZ 01206 572200 guntons.co.uk


Axicon were, we have to say, amazing. They delivered our labels on time and perfectly printed and took our last minute phone calls in their stride. They understood the importance of the perfect label and gave us the product that (hopefully!) stands out from the crowd!

Axicon Labels Tel: 01869 350442 Email: labels@axicon.com Web: www.axiconlabels.co.uk

Charlotte Brown’s Handmade

Artisan Preserves and Relishes

Passionate about Preserving & Perfect Pairing 1892 IPA

1980 Porter

Our 3 Heritage beers are inspired by Britain’s rich brewing heritage, looking back through recipes from the 19th Century and giving them a lift with some modern British and New World hops. All our Heritage Ales are brewed to be great if drunk today or can be laid down and aged to allow their flavours to evolve.

What is it that makes CHARLOTTE BROWN’S products so good? Charlotte would say that fresh, high-quality ingredients, mastery of traditional methods and great attention to detail are what makes the difference. Her new FIG AND PEAR CHUTNEY is the perfect pairing to a surprisingly wide range of English and Continental Cheeses, particularly the mild soft ones that can be so hard to match

Delicious with ALL cheeses! Proud to be Great Taste 2 star 2019 winners for 1892 IPA & 1820 Porter

Global Beer Awards Silver 1820 Porter.

Call now 07594 383 195 www.beerblefish.co.uk sales@beerblefish.co.uk

Tel 02380 671047 / 07826 835127 charlottebonney@hotmail.com

www.charlottebrowns.co.uk

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00744 Snow Trade Advert FP PRESS 230 x 315mm.pdf 1 20/02/2019 10:53:47

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GOOD CHEESE *As voted for in 2019-20 Fine Food Digest survey

Profile for Guild of Fine Food

Good Cheese 2019-20  

Good Cheese 2019-20