A guide to the cheeses of Cornwall
Cornwall has long been known for its culinary expertise; being the home of long stretches of coastline that provide some of the best fishing in the country and a strong farming community that has produced some of the most highly-valued dairy produce in the world, this county acts as a haven for all foodies.
For this reason, some of the best cheese producers are still based in Cornwall, offering up some of the most unique cheeses and dairy produce to be sampled on holidays in Looe, Cornwall. So take a journey with us as we embark on the cheese guide to Cornwall, where everything from the big names of Dairy Crest and smaller independent farms are explored.
Producing the likes of Cathedral City and Davidstow, Dairy Crest is a big name across the country and its largest creamery is actually based in Cornwall in the small town of Camelford. Cathedral City has quickly become one of the country’s most loved every day cheeses, so much so that the ‘mature, yet mellow’ tagline has become ingrained in visits to the supermarket across the country, but its product originates and is still produced in the humble county of Cornwall.
Both cheeses are produced at Dairy Crest’s Davidstow creamery and while Camelford has neither a cathedral nor city status, the name comes from the product’s former owner, Mendip Foods, that was bought out by Dairy Crest in 1995.
While both Davidstow and Cathedral City from Dairy Crest have become household names, they still hold a unique taste and heritage that comes with Cornish cheese and dairy products, giving the masses that little bit of Cornwall to remind them of their Cornish coastal holidays every day.
Cornish Cheese Co.
At the other end of the scale to Dairy Crest there is the locally-produced and locally-sold cheese from the Cornish Cheese Co. As the self-proclaimed ‘home of the Cornish Blue Cheese’, the Cornish Cheese Co. is very proud of its history and its product. The company has won numerous awards for its excellent handmade cheese, including the World Cheese Awards Champion Cheese in 2010 and Best Blue and English Cheese in 2007.
Cornish Cheese Co. founder Philip Stanfield was the man that actually brought blue cheese to Cornwall; no blue cheese was produced in the county before his company began. So why not head down to Cornwall this summer to sample the Cornish Blue, stocked at The Cheese Shop, Truro; Neals Yard Dairy and Paxton Whitfield?
Cornish Gouda Co.
From Cornish Blue to Cornish Gouda, courtesy of the Cornish Gouda Co. Based in Looe at Talvan Farm, they are a popular feature at the annual Looe Food Festival in June, which is a great event for discovering some of the best produce of the South West. As Cornish Gouda is the first of its kind in the South West of England, it offers another unique tasting during breaks spent in summer holiday homes in Looe.
Produced on a family-run farm, whose owners moved to Cornwall in 1998, this is one truly spectacular cheese that all can enjoy.
Like the former two, this cheese company was also the first to bring a new cheese out of Cornwall and it is one that has become an established name in the cheese community. Lynher Dairies were the first to make the world famous Cornish Yarg in 1983 and are today the only creamery to produce this special cheese. The cheese is based on a 13th century recipe that has characteristics of Caerphilly and Wensleydale, and it was first produced after the Prince of Wales’ Estate, the Duchy of Cornwall approached the Dairy with the proposition of making cheese.
Lynher Dairies processes two million litres of milk and handpicks two tonnes of local nettle and wild garlic leaves with which to wrap the cheese, in order to produce the 200 tonnes of Cornish Yarg they make each and every year. As such a famous cheese from Cornwall and having won Best English Cheese at the International Cheese Awards in 2012, as well as Reserve Champion at the Royal Bath and West Show, this is one cheese that is particularly popular with visitors to the county as well as those at food festivals and shows.
To see other local food exhibitors and producers head down to Looe Food Festival in June to gain a real taste for Cornwall during holidays in the area.
Image Credits: Dairy Crest, www.cornishcheese.co.uk, Looe Food Festival, Tristan Ferne [commons.wikimedia.org]
This content was written by Alex Jones. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.