Cheese Please




Cornwall’s Top Ten Cheeses


First of all let’s explode a myth. Cheese is good for you. It’s packed vitamins to keep you healthy, it’s good for your teeth by stimulating extra saliva to ward off tooth decay, contains large amounts of calcium to guard against osteoporosis and, now this is the killer fact, cheese does not give you nightmares. In fact it can actually help you get a good night's sleep. One of the essential amino acids in cheese - tryptophan - has been shown to reduce stress and induce peaceful sleep.

It’s not surprising then that now the yellow stuff (and blue, and orange and white) is back in favour, the UK has become one giant cheese board churning out over 700 different varieties with producers here in Cornwall making cheeses that are winning top awards nationally for their quality and innovation. 

Sue’s Keltic Gold.  Still affectionately known by its fans as the ‘Cornish Cheese with No Name’.  This is the first, and only rind-washed cheese made in Cornwall. Instead of encouraging a natural mould rind, or maturing the cheese in a cloth, cheese maker Sue Proudfoot, based in Whalesborough near Bude, washes the whole cheese in a local cider, which encourages the formation of the orangey-pink rind.  These rinds give a deeper, meaty flavour to the cheese. Reminiscent of the ‘smellier’ French varieties, this popular cheese is sold at Fortnum and Masons and top cheese retailers Paxton and Whitfield.

St Keverne Square.  An unusual shape for brie-style cheese.  Made by the Lambrick family near St. Keverne from the fresh pasteurised milk from their own pedigree herd of Friesian cows that graze atop the Spinecop Headland on the Lizard Peninsula overlooking the Helford Estuary and Falmouth Bay. It has a very mellow and mild, almost mushroomy favour when young yet has a distinctive taste: develops a good, ripened flavour with age. Won a silver medal in 2007 at the World Cheese Awards

Nettle covered Yarg.  A perennial favourite with locals and tourists alike. The use of nettles in cheese making originated in the 13th century; nettles being used as a mat to drain cheeses on. The cheese is now made by Lynher Dairies in Posanooth near Truro, who continue to produce this nettle-wrapped hard cheese to an original recipe. Cornish Yarg is made from pasteurised Friesian milk and the curds are crumbled slightly before pressing into the cheese mould. The cheeses are brined for twenty-four hours before the frozen nettles are used to coat the cheese. The cheese is aged for two to three months prior to consumption. The nettles are edible and add a little zest to this mild cheese.

Cornish Blue.  Made by Phillip Stansfield from the milk of his own Friesian herd at Knowle Farm on Bodmin Moor. His aim was to create a Gorgonzola style cheese for the local market. Cornish blue has that chunky, milky character reminiscent of the texture of Gorgonzola. The cheese is accompanied by deep pits and veins of blue, adding sharpness and depth of flavour.  It is interesting that blue cheeses have strong roots in the traditional mining areas of Britain.  Blue cheeses have a natural Penicillin content that assists the body in fighting off respiratory infections. Miners consumed blue cheese both for enjoyment and reasons of health.

Gevrik Made on the north coast of Cornwall at Trevarrion by The Cornish Country Larder, this full fat goat's cheese, has a clean, fresh, nutty taste.  The name, Gevrik, means “Little Goat” in Cornish and as it matures, this cheese develops a creamy, melting texture. If you’re not a lover of the distinctive flavour of goat cheeses then this would be a good one to try as it has a light, mild taste that is almost lemon-like, with none of the goat-like smell or taste that puts some people off. Gevrik is a versatile cheese, ideal for the cheese-board, in a salad, a sandwich or grilling.

St Endellion.  A triple-cream Brie handmade from pasteurised cows milk on the north coast and is another cheese from the portfolio of The Cornish County Larder. This is a rich and almost decedent brie-style Cornish cheese. Its characteristic golden creamy paste is achieved after the cheese softens and ripens resulting in a deliciously creamy and full-bodied soft cheese with a wonderful character and complexity of flavour, both tangy and deliciously rich. St Endellion is the winner of many awards including Britain’s Best Soft White Cheese at the British Cheese Awards in 2003

Menallack Farmhouse Cheddar.  This is an unpasteurised, vegetarian cheddar made at Menallack Farm near Penryn and was the first cheese made by husband and wife team John and Caryl Minson back in the 1980s when cheese making in Cornwall was just developing. Based on a recipe for Cheshire cheese, the difference in the taste comes from the grass the cows eat, which in Penryn grows on granite. The cows produce milk that gives the cheese its distinctive flavour and a fine texture that is excellent for using in cooking. Its sister cheese, Menallack Vintage ages for longer and has a richer flavour.

Baccadon Farm Made by new cheese maker Andrew Scott, from Bocaddon farm near Looe, who only started producing in December 2007, this really soft, yellowy cows milk cheese is made with the farm's own creamy Guernsey milk and comes in four varieties; Cornish Cracked Pepper, made with black peppercorns, Cornish Herb and Garlic, Black Olive and Cornish Plain. The Cracked Pepper variety recently made it to the final stages of a national competition run by Tesco to find delicious new British cheeses and even though it’s a new cheese maker on the block, Baccadon Farm has already picked up awards at the Bath and West Show and The British Cheese Awards

Tala Ewe.  A Cornish, hard-textured ewes' milk cheese made from pure unpasteurised ewes' milk. Tala was originally made at North Beer Farm, near Launceston in North Cornwall but has recently been taken over by Menallack Farm taking their production tally to 16 cheeses now. This is an unusual ewes milk cheese, the texture is very firm and dry and the flavour has sweet caramel hints. It is probably the firmest ewes' milk cheese made in Britain today and easily compares to an Italian mature Pecorino

Ambervale.  From Trevarrian Farm, Newquay. A hidden gem amongst cheeses, cheddar-like in taste and covered in orange wax it might not look like much but has a wonderful tangy, slightly nutty flavour, is great value and especially popular with children. There is also a smoked version, Cornish Old Smokey, which has a delicious, sweet and mellow flavour. Traditionally smoked over fragrant Cornish fruitwood, the deep golden orange colour complements the smoky aroma and woody flavour beautifully winning it a gold medal at the 2005 World Cheese Awards.




The Cheese Shop
29 Ferris Town