As five relative cheese-newbies, we were sent to find out all that we could about the methods used in artisan cheese making. Oliver, Dorian, Nicola, Ash and I set off with our tutor for the day; Andy Swinscoe to Sleight farm, just south of Bath. We drove up a tiny track, over a very steep hill and arrived at the farm. Immediately it felt like we had stepped back into the past....
The cheese in question was Tymsboro', a pyramid- shaped goats' cheese made in a traditional style by Mary Holbrook.
We were met by Fred who talked us through the processes involved in making the cheese. As novices it was great to see first-hand how it is done.
We first saw the milking room, where the goats are milked daily from spring through to autumn. It is important that they are not milked all year round as Mary believes it leads to happier goats and thus improves the quality of the milk. This practice is not often used in commercial dairy farming as it is less profitable. The milk is very fresh, the oldest being from the previous evening and is unpasteurised.