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The Fine Cheese Co. Guide To Heart-isan Cheeses

  Baron Bigod I Love You The Heart of Gold. Smooth and silky with a golden interior that will ooze onto your plate. Jonny Crickmore is the farmer and cheesemaker, and he works by hand. His herd of Montbeliarde cows are partial to a relaxing massage (aren’t we all) after a hard day’s grazing. This cheese is full of rich, lingering flavours and mushroomy notes and can be found in our “Heart of Seduction” selection.       ... Read More

Serving and Cutting Your Christmas Cheese

SERVING Salopettes, steaming mugs of hot chocolate and the Russian army are three things that have put in some of their best work at lower temperatures. Although often at home within the cold confines of a fridge, cheese can’t truly count itself among these aforementioned champions of chill. Christmas is a grand stage, and as with many a big-game player, it is necessary that your cheeses undergo a suitable warm-up in order to put in a memor... Read More

Staff Picks for This Christmas

  With quite a few selections to choose from this year, we thought it might be of use to learn the thoughts of a few members of The Fine Cheese Co. team. Each person we spoke with provides a little insight into the concepts behind the chosen selections, and, perhaps more importantly, the kind of people who will enjoy receiving these selections. Ollie Setterfield – Finance  “Masterly” – The Super Gold Cheese Selection Box I’ve chosen this se... Read More

A Zoom With A Blue

Virtual cheese tasting events have become tremendously popular this year. In a year beset by lockdowns, restrictions and American elections, they offer a freeing sense of occasion and shared experience, something that has been sadly missing for many of us. The idea itself seems to have been one of those brainwaves that occur for large numbers of people at the same time. We’ve hosted our own events, been asked to help organise events for other... Read More

Cheesemongers' Tips - Shelf Life & Home Care with Ruth

In the run-up to an unusual Christmas, a number of our Cheesemongers have donned their helpers’ hats and have prepared a few words of wisdom. Their aim is to help move you from feeling restive to feeling festive by equipping you with the confidence and know-how for creating unbeatable cheeseboards this holiday season. Starting with today’s, this series of blog posts will see our Cheesemongers offer timeless advice to all, from the beginners w... Read More

The School Of Cool. How To Win Friends And Influence People With The Academy Of Cheese

Knowledge is power. And cheese is irresistible. So what do you get if you combine power with irresistibility? Well, you could always ask Ben or Alex, two of our resident curd nerds. For they are deeply knowledgeable in the ways of cheese, and as a result, neither of them has ever been found wanting when it comes to mates, dates or lifting heavy weights. Women want to be with them, men want to be them. Putting the ‘stud’ in studying. Ben and A... Read More

Father's Day Gift Ideas 2020

There are a great many unknowns in this life.  What exactly is housed within Area 51? What happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste? What on earth would dad like for Father’s Day? Dads can be difficult to buy for. At times they can be satisfied by simple pleasures, other times they may be gripped by ambitious D-I-Y plans and projects. There are even the occasions when they like nothing better than gathering an audience and imparting a bit of... Read More

Saving British Cheese

It has been immensely affecting to see the enthusiastic responses received by the campaigns in support of British cheesemakers. It was a cruel twist of fate for something that often needs many months of maturation, to have many of its roads to market removed overnight. But roads go two ways, and with the loss of access to the diverse range of cheeses in this country, the British public have taken to their tablets, phones and computers to get... Read More

A Crisis In The (Cheese) Making

, Written by Ruth Raskin, Our Cheese Care Manager. Selling cheese, made by small, artisan producers, who work with great skill, dedication and enthusiasm, has always been both a privilege and a pleasure. Now it feels like a responsibility too. Until the country changed unrecognisably just a couple of weeks ago, the British cheese industry was in hale and hearty health. After decades in the doldrums, the resurgence that has taken place in Bri... Read More

The Hand-Made Tale

Fresh off the heels of International Women’s day, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the enormous contribution made to our industry by talented women. Our founder, Ann-Marie Dyas, was one such woman, whose enduring legacy is one of championing traditional, artisan cheesemaking. That is, cheeses that are made by hand. Cheeses made by small and independent producers. Producers who labour for the love of their craft, and not to mass-prod... Read More

Eat Pray Love Cheese

The French know a thing or deux about romance. While the custom of sending flowers on St. Valentine’s Day dates back to the late 17th century, the amorous French have a tradition that dates back much further. During the Hundred Years’ War, the French dairymaids of Neufchâtel would mould cheeses into the shape of a heart, and offer them as a token of affection to their English suitors. This was the start of a long tradition in Anglo-French re... Read More

Gift Guide: Cheese Accessories

Cheese, like Christmas itself, can be viewed as one of those pleasures that may only be enjoyed for a brief moment of time, before it becomes naught but a memory. This in no way makes it any less significant, it may in fact be part of what makes it so special. But sometimes you may want to give a gift that has little more permanence to it. Something that can be used time and again. We believe in simplicity, something that can add a touch of e... Read More

Which Cheeses to Give at Christmas

Eating on Christmas day is a serious business, and should be approached with an attitude to match. As with any great feat or accomplishment, the wise among us know to take preparatory measures. Eat only a light breakfast. Wear your loosest fitting clothing. Drink something sparkling (the bubbles expand the stomach). Take a morning walk if weather, schedule and inclination allows it. And never, under any circumstances, have ‘just one more’ of ... Read More

Cheese Wedding Cakes Read More

Why Give Cheese at Christmas?

The beauty of an artisan cheese is that it is an affordable luxury; something you can indulge in without wondering what else you may have to do without. Served at a party or as an after-dinner course, artisan cheese is an exceptional and elegant final act to proceedings. Offering an array of flavours, textures and aromas, cheese is the consummate showman, and will bring the house down to rapturous cries of ‘Bravo!’. It also makes for a unique... Read More

Cheeses For Christmas Parties

December is poking its frost-nipped nose round the corner and we’re all getting prepared for Christmas. Though we may enjoy more than our fair share of different cheeses throughout the year, much like everyone, else our Christmas cheeseboard often sees us returning to the classics. Complex Stiltons, full and fruity Bries and strong and tangy Somerset Cheddars. But what about in the run up to Christmas, and all those parties and gatherings t... Read More

Meet British Charcuterie

The story of British charcuterie shares a number of similarities with British cheese. Twenty to thirty years ago, British cheesemaking entered a golden age. An influx of new cheesemakers brought about a period of rapid rediscovery and dramatic innovation, resulting in a surge in both the quantity and quality of British artisan cheese, as well as the interest in it. The ripples of this ‘renaissance’ can still be felt today, and a similar spl... Read More

British Cheese Awards 2019

The British Cheese Awards are the Oscars of Britain’s cheesemaking industry, and though there isn't quite the same level of  glitz and glamour as one can expect in Tinseltown, the sheer number of talented cheesemakers, and the trestle table-bucklingly large amount of artisan British and Irish cheese on display more than makes up for it. Over 800 cheeses from 120 different cheesemakers were in attendance at the Royal Bath and West Showgro... Read More

The 2019 Artisan Cheese Awards

Sponsored by The Fine Cheese Co.   Though it’s been a while since I checked, I dimly recall gluttony being among the seven deadly sins. In fact, I’m almost positive that it is. It was fortunate then, that on the 4th May, the Artisan Cheese Awards were held in Melton Mowbray’s Church of St. Mary, that we might better atone for what was to come. For the fourth consecutive year, cheesemakers from across Britain and Ireland congregated in ... Read More

A tribute to Mary Holbrook

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Mary Holbrook, the maker of the incomparable Tymsboro cheese, who passed away at the weekend. She died at home on Sunday, at her beautiful farm on the hill, in Somerset, where she has worked tirelessly over decades to establish and maintain her world-class reputation. Mary has had an impact on a staggering amount of people in the artisan cheese industry in the UK and beyond. She welcomed trainee... Read More

Choosing Your Cheddar

Cheddar, a year-round favourite, really comes into its own at Christmas. But which one would be right for your cheeseboard? We’ve created short profiles for some of our most popular traditional west country cheddars, so you can find your perfect match. Westcombe Cheddar Hand Selected: As the name suggests, we pick these out personally, together with cheesemaker Tom Calver, to find those Cheddars with exactly the taste profile we’re after. Mad... Read More

A Maverick and a Renegade

  Marcus Fergusson and his cheese, the aptly named 'Renegade Monk' Cheesemakers are like their cheeses: they’re supposed to take time to mature and fully develop. Marcus Fergusson, of Feltham’s Farm Cheeses, is a fascinating character, as he doesn’t quite fit this mould. Like his cheese, he is something of a renegade. He’s prodigiously talented and far more comfortable taking risks than a cheesemaker of his experience has any right ... Read More

The Fine Cheese Co. Festival 2018

After a few years' hiatus, we're delighted to announce the return of The Fine Cheese Co.'s Festival at Milsom Place. Past events have proved this to be a perfect chance for fans of cheese from Bath and beyond, to spend the day with some of the fantastic cheesemakers the UK has to offer. Our line-up looks set to be one of the largest ever, which means a huge amount of cheese to try and buy! Our cheesemongers and the rest of the team from The F... Read More

Manchego - A Spanish Dream

If you were to think of Spain, Manchego would likely be the cheese which immediately sprang to mind. It belongs to a very exclusive club. Along with Brie and Cheddar, Gorgonzola and Gruyère, it has become the poster child for an entire nation’s cheesemaking prowess. This is not without good cause. A truly great Manchego manages to be many things at once. In my experience, most things in life which are capable of being more than one thing at a... Read More

Perfecting the Art of the Picnic

I’ll share a secret with you. I used to think picnics were overrated. I know… I know... It’s an unusual and unlikely opinion to hold, especially at this time of year. The popularity of the picnic puzzled me. If you can't imagine this, well, bear with me…you might be able to relate more than you first thought. Picture the scene. It’s your first picnic of the summer; the anticipation is high, the journey is long and the hamper is heavy. After... Read More

Father's Day: A look at Cheesemaking Families

James and George Keen   ‘I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.’ Umberto Eco Cheesemakers obsess over the smallest of details, in order to perfect that taste they are seeking. Over the years, a cheesemaker will build up a laundry list of tips and make-notes. This Father’s day, we took a moment to celebrate a few of t... Read More

The British Cheese Awards 2018

 Sponsors of the 2018 British Cheese Awards: The Fine Cheese Co. The 25th annual event was a special night for all concerned, and, as sponsors of the awards, it was all the more poignant for us, for a number of reasons. The awards night, which was held at The Royal Bath and West Showground, brought together the best of the best in British cheese. Close to 1000 cheeses were entered and then whittled down to a select few which were lauded and a... Read More

Duckett's Caerphilly

We adore Duckett’s Caerphilly. Being but a short drive away, we recently visited Tom Calver of Westcombe Dairy to see how it is made, and to learn a little of its incredible story. Duckett’s Caerphilly is a traditional territorial cheese and is one of but a handful of Caerphilly that are made with raw milk. During spring and summer, its taste enters a peak period and has a wonderful fresh taste with bright, fresh flavours of citrus, offse... Read More

The Artisan Cheese Awards 2018

What a weekend it was at the 2018 Artisan Cheese Awards. We were the sponsors of the event so we spent some time in Melton Mowbray celebrating the best that the British Isles have to offer the world of fine cheese. As ever, there were triumphs and trophies galore. It is always rewarding to see the number of cheesemakers we work with come home with some gold. It is a fitting testament to the hard work they put in making the Artisan cheese ... Read More

Raw Milk Revolution

Imagine if you discovered, quite by chance, a forest at the end of your garden. Certain it had never been there before, you proceed to venture into this wild and unexplored territory, whereupon you encounter sights, tastes and smells that were strange and delightful to your senses. Reeling from your discovery, you rush to tell your friends and family about it, but to your astonishment you are met with incredulity, or, even worse – declarati... Read More

An Ode to Our Founder, Ann-Marie Dyas, on International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women in all walks of life, but as cheese is our business, we got to thinking about the women who have influenced us and from whom we draw inspiration. Well, one name stood out above all others, that of our founder, Ann-Marie Dyas. For 30 years, Ann-Marie Dyas held a place at the heart of the artisan cheese industry. In the 1980s, she left behind a successful career in advert... Read More

International Women's Day, A Time to Celebrate the Cheesemakers

Women have long held a place at the heart of traditional cheesemaking. In the very early days of British cheese, monasteries were important centres of production. With their dissolution by Henry VIII in 1560, recipes often passed to the local farmers' wives, broadening the styles of cheese to be found on British farms. There is a long tradition of the women of the family taking control of the dairy, and making butter and cheese both to feed... Read More

Flipping Marvellous! Pancake Day’s Almost Here

The French have La Chandeleur and the Americans, well, they like pancakes most days. In the UK, however, we celebrate those flat, circles of joy each year on a specific day in February for Pancake Day. It might be the tradition for lemon and sugar on your Pancake Day pancakes, but we like to make things a little more cheesey at The Fine Cheese Co. So, with the help of our Cheese Care & Quality Manager, Ruth, we’ve come up with some sugges... Read More

Our Blue & White Ceramics: It’s all in the Design

From platters to Stilton pots, our charming ceramic range was developed with the illustrator, John Broadley, because we believe that lovingly crafted cheeses deserve to be honoured with a beautiful presentation. A new Ceramic Butter Dish was recently added to the blue and white line-up, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to speak with John about how the range started and how it has evolved over the years. “The original design I m... Read More

Westcombe Dairy and White Lake Cheese, Two of Our Cheesemaking Neighbours

A group of us from different departments in The Fine Cheese Co ventured into the heart of Somerset for a trip, which for most of us was our first visit to see one of our cheesemakers in their element. We started our day by meeting cheesemaker, Tom Calver, in his dairy that’s nestled in the beautiful village of Westcombe. There have been records of cheesemaking here since 1879, with the first cheeses being made with Edith Cannon. Since then,... Read More

Judges Hooked on Blu di Bufala and Rachel at World Cheese Awards 2017

Two of our favourites, the buffalo milk blue cheese, Blu di Bufala, and goats’ milk cheese, Rachel, hit the big time at The Guild of Fine Food’s recent World Cheese Awards in London. Made by Caseificio Quattro Portoni , Blu di Bufala, picked up Best Italian Cheese, while White Lake Cheese’s Rachel is now officially the Best Goats’ Milk Cheese in the world. Blu di Bufala wasn’t far off making it a perfect night. The cheese was awarded 69 point... Read More

Claire’s Baked Pumpkin Fondue

Baking a pumpkin filled with as much cheese as you can fit in is the recipe for a truly special, comfort meal that's not just perfect for Halloween! As our designer, Claire, puts it, “this is the best bonfire night recipe ever!” This is an annual tradition for Claire. The pumpkin can be dipped into, like a traditional cheese fondue, or if you roast it for a while longer, then the pumpkin's flesh becomes gorgeously tender and is delicious when... Read More

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