December 2020 Cheese Club Selection

December 2020 Cheese Club Selection

The December 2020 Cheese Club Selection is a celebration of Christmas Classics.  The perfect cheese board for your Christmas feast.

Chabichou du Poitou

Made in Poitou-Charentes, France.  A soft, fresh tasting cheese, shaped like a gently tapered cylinder. The texture is smooth yet quite close-textured. Produced traditionally with a lovely aromatic rind. It can be eaten young and fresh, however it reaches its ideal state – sweeter and crumblier – as it matures and dries out.

Brie Fermier

Made in Ile-de-France, France, Brie Fermier is brie that has been made on the farm using milk from the farm. The velvety bloomy white rind develops a deeper golden colour as it matures.

The texture is tender, unctuous and creamy. The taste is complex, rounded and soothing, with flavours ranging from mushroom to cauliflower to sautéed cabbage and leek.

Colston Bassett Stilton

Stilton is THE KING of Christmas cheeses.  Made from the milk from cow's grazing on the lush late summer pastures it is at its absolute peak at this time of the year and no Christmas table would be complete without it.

Stilton has been made at the Colston Bassett Dairy since 1913. During this time, there have only been four cheesemakers, currently Billy Kevan, which might explain why this Stilton has changed less over time than any other. The curds are hand-ladled, a painstaking process, but one that helps to preserve the structure of the curd and the resulting cheeses are more buttery in texture than that of mass-produced Stiltons.

The use of animal rennet produces cheeses that are richer, more complex and more long lasting in flavour. In addition, the rind is pierced at a later stage in the maturing process, allowing the cheese to ripen for longer before the blue mould develops and contributes its fruity blue tang. This further deepens their rich, savoury, biscuity flavour.

Tawny ports or dark beers are a great match.

Hafod Cheddar

Situated near the coast in west Wales, Bwlchwernen Fawr has been home to the Holden family since the early 1970s. A leading figure in the Soil Association and more recently the Sustainable Food Trust, Patrick Holden's influence on British farming has been considerable, but it wasn't until his son Sam returned to Bwlchwernen Fawr in 2007 that they began making cheese on the farm. Hafod is Welsh for 'summer place' or 'pasture', and it's on such pasture – up the hill from the river Aeron – that the Holdens' 65-strong herd of Ayrshire cows graze when they're not sheltering for winter.

Almost 100 per cent of the herd's diet is grown on the farm's land, as is the straw for the indoor bedding: for the past four decades the family have been working toward a system where the farm is wholly self-sustaining. Although Hafod is made according to methods described in the classic 1917 manual Practical Cheddar Cheese-making, the Holdens and their head cheesemaker Tess continue to refine the make according to feedback and research. For example, a trial in 2019 revealed that no-cloth cheeses were firmer and breaking down more slowly than the clothed cheeses.  Since then, all the cheeses selected for us by Neal's Yard Dairy have been unbound.


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