Mark Hindle, cheesemaker at Monkland Cheese has chosen this selection of local cheeses that showcases the wide range of delicious cheeses available from just one region of Britain.
Mark has chosen:
Pablo Cabrito: made by the multi award winning Brock Hall Farm in Shorpshire by cheese maker Sarah Hampton, this is a lovely goat’s milk log, with a fanciful name! Lightly ashed, it is a splendid addition to any cheeseboard. Sarah has her own herd of goats at Brock Hall Farm, and all her cheeses are made from goats’ milk
Finn: although a Neal’s Yard cheese, this is made in Herefordshire (near the village of Dorstone, close to Hay-on-Wye). An unpasteurised double cream cheese, with a lovely soft texture, developing a “mushroomy” flavour with maturity.
Little Hereford: An excellent hard cheese, a revival of a 1918 recipe by Ellen Yeld. A cross between a Caerphilly and a Cheddar, it has bags of flavour rather than a ‘kick’. Also unpasteurised, made at Monkland’s own dairy in Herefordshire.
Celtic Promise: is made in the Teifi Valley West Wales, and with its cider-washed rind, has a distinctly continental style. Semi-soft, creamy and rich, very distinctive. Another unpasteurised cheese, made with vegetarian rennet, the makers came from Holland in 1982, and their excellent cheeses tend to have a gouda-like style.
Blue Monk: a blue cheese form Monkland’s own dairy. Small, soft, and creamy, with a good medium strength blue flavour.
Although three cheeses can make a good cheeseboard we think five gives a greater variety when entertaining friends.
For British tastes, a cheeseboard has to have at least one hard cheese. Then we suggest having three soft cheeses, a rich creamy one, a goat’s cheese and blue. All these soft cheeses should be spreadable – no need for butter! – but how ripe they are is a matter for individual taste. We have added one ‘wild card’ to create a talking point.
Peter’s Yard crispbreads are a wonderful foil for all of these. Thin slices, using a cheese parer, are great for hard cheeses, the thin crispbread and the thin cheese really complement each other. With the soft cheeses, the contrast of the textures between the crispbreads and the cheese is brilliant.
Finally, with all cheeses, it is really important that they are not served straight from the fridge – give them at least 3 hours at room temperature!