Thursday, 14 July 2011

A visit to Neal's Yard Dairy

108 Druid Street, London SE1 2HH
Thanks to Rob at Leila's shop and his previous six years experience working as a cheese monger at Neal's Yard he managed to get me a place on this afternoons cheese tour. Representing the School of Artisan Food (SAF) I joined some of the best cheese retailers in London including the highly reputable La Fromagerie of Highbury.We were welcomed by Srdja Mastilovic who was an excellent host and extremely knowledgeable as he took us through the most stunning collection of farm cheeses from the British Isles.

We started with three of the most popular British cheddars from the Somerset region; Westcombe Cheddar an unpasteurised cows milk made with traditonal animal rennet at Westcombe farm near Shepton Mallet (a personal favourite), Montgomery's Cheddar an unpasteurised cows milk made by Jamie Montgomery at Manor Farm and Keen's Cheddar made by the Keen family at Moorhayes Farm near Wincanton. The blues were Colston Bassett stilton, a pasteurised cows milk made in the village of Colston Bassett in Nottinghamshire and saving the best until last, our very own Stichelton made by Joe Schneider with unpasteurised organic cows milk at Stichelton Dairy on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire.

We then moved into the cooler zones of the (railway) tunnels, which emulated the traditional cheese caves in temperature and humidity. We entered each of the maturing rooms and tasted our way through Tunworth, Innes Log, Sleightlett, Tymsboro, Wigmore, Spenwood, Berkswell, Waterloo, Hawes Wensleydale and Lincolnshire Poacher.
Tunworth - Hampshire
Wigmore (mature) - Berkshire
Tymsboro - Somerset

Cardo  - Somerset

Wigmore (young) 
Stawley (young) - Somerset
Michael with Innes Log - Staffordshire

Sampling Lincolnshire Poacher

Neal's Yard are currently experimenting
in the creamery with a new variety
due to be called Bermondsey. 
Thanks to the team at Neals Yard for a great afternoon which was both fun and  informative. Take a look at this short film to see some of the producers of these magnificent British cheeses:

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