Being a Somerset cheese company means we’re joined at the hip to our local Cheddar makers: from the mighty Montgomery’s to the wonderful Westcombe.
Because of this, getting my West Country colleagues to take on a Welsh Cheddar was on the impossible side of difficult.
But there it now rests, on our bowing spruce boards and in its rightful place: Hafod (pronounced Havod – meaning summer pasture in Welsh) - one of the finest Cheddars made in the UK.
Having adopted their cheese, I thought it was about time the sales team I and (Ollie, Gabi and Flo) paid our Welsh neighbours a visit to spend a gruelling 12 hours with Sam helping him turn his milk into Hafod. We started bright and early helping milk the cows. Although Ollie wasn’t too impressed when he got on the wrong side of one: his brand new jeans were a little muddied to say the least!
Soon after milking was finished we got hands-on in the cheese-making room helping to set the curd before a exhausting day spent
28th February 2012
I arrived at Ram Hall just in time to pull on a very long glove and plunge my arm into the partly separated curds and whey for a gentle stir. Cheese making in Berkswell is very hands-on. Powdered lamb’s rennet is added to the warm raw milk, all of which comes from the farm’s flock of 650 Friesland and Friesland-Devon cross ewes. The milk is heated, stirred and cut before Julie and her team mould the cheese by hand into colanders, giving the cheese its characteristic shape and patterning.