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5 new artisan cheeses to look out for

5 new artisan cheeses to look out for

by Great British Chefs 23 October 2018

Cheesemakers are constantly tinkering with recipes, methods and ingredients to come up with exciting new varieties of cheese, but it can be hard to keep track of them all. Here are five fantastic British cheeses created in the past few years.

Walk into your average cheese shop and there will always be a good few cheeses you’ve never tasted – or even heard of – before. While cheesemongers seem to have an all-encompassing encyclopaedic knowledge of every British cheese to have ever graced their counter, for the average cheese-lover it’s a constant voyage of discovery. But it’s hard to know whether you haven’t seen a cheese before because it’s brand new, or you’ve just not come across it before.

That’s why we’ve decided to single out five new cheeses that have only started to appear in shops in the past year or so. New artisan cheeses are often made in small batches by tiny producers, so it can take a while before they make their way onto cheese counters outside their immediate local area. If you see any of the following cheeses in your local shop, be sure to snap them up – they’re perfect examples of the UK's exciting contemporary cheese scene.

Lady Prue (Quicke’s)

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Quicke’s is by no means a new cheesemaker – the Quicke family has been farming in Devon since the sixteenth century – but the quality of Quicke’s cheddar has made the producer one of the most respected cheesemakers in the UK. The latest cheese to be added to the Quicke’s roster is Lady Prue, unveiled in the beginning of 2018 and only available from Borough Market in London (for the time being, anyway). It’s a first for the business as it’s made from a combination of goat’s and cow’s milk, making it one of the few mixed milk cheeses produced in the UK. Named after head cheesemaker Mary Quicke’s mother – who set up the family dairy in the 1970s – Lady Prue is a firm, pale, buttery cheese with a gentle ‘goaty’ tang in the finish.

Little Mester (Sheffield Cheesemasters)

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At the end of 2017, Sheffield welcomed its first ever cheesemaker – Sheffield Cheesemasters. Today, the small team makes over 300 wheels of Little Mester every week, a soft Camembert-style cheese that’s gooey and creamy with a bloomy rind. It’s named after what local self-employed craftsmen were referred to in the local area around the eighteenth century, often making cutlery as part of the city’s steel industry. Sheffield Cheesemasters use milk from a tiny herd four miles away, making Little Mester a truly artisan product which you should snap up the second you spot it.

Merry Wyfe (Bath Soft Cheese Co)

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The Bath Soft Cheese Company has a fantastic track record of producing award-winning cheeses, and its latest creation is no exception. Merry Wyfe starts out just like the producer’s Wyfe of Bath, a semi-hard cheese that has a nutty, creamy taste. That’s where the similarities end though – to become Merry Wyfe, the cheese is pressed to create a dense texture with less moisture, before being washed in cider (which is made on the same farm). This not only gives the cheese a beautiful orange rind; it brings all those alluringly pungent aromas and flavours every good washed-rind cheese should have.

Stratford Blue (Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses)

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Butlers is at the larger end of the spectrum when it comes to cheesemakers, but it still holds true to its artisanal, traditional, handmade values at the family dairy in Lancashire. Its latest cheese Stratford Blue was unveiled in the first half of 2018, and combines that classic blue tang with a creamy, mellow finish that’s incredibly moreish. It’s relatively soft – almost spreadable – and is one of those cheeses that has you going back for more until it’s all gone.

Triple Rose (Ballylisk of Armagh)

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Northern Ireland’s cheese scene has exploded in the past few years, and Ballylisk of Armagh is one of the cheesemakers at the forefront of the revolution. The Wright family has been farming in County Armagh for five generations, but it is Dean Wright who was the first to try his hand at cheesemaking. The result is Triple Rose, a fantastically creamy and decadent soft cheese made using cream and milk from his own pedigree herd. It has lemony undertones and a salty flavour, but the main feature of this cheese is just how creamy it is.

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5 new artisan cheeses to look out for

 
 

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