Cheddar is ubiquitous throughout the world, but precious few have truly earned the name. Pitchfork joins a select band of authentic, Artisan Somerset Cheddars that have been accepted into the Slow Food Presidium, which aims to protect traditional foods that are at risk of extinction. It is a worthy addition. Dense and fudgy in texture, with full savoury flavours reminiscent of beef stock, followed by a lingering finish.
The birth of a traditionally made, raw milk, clothbound, Somerset Cheddar is an extraordinarily rare event. Brothers Todd and Maugan Trethowan set about achieving this feat when they moved the making of their Gorwydd Caerphilly to Puxton Farm, just seven miles from Cheddar Gorge.
Todd first began making cheese back in 1996 when he returned to Wales to make a raw milk, natural rinded Caerphilly. Maugan later joined him and together they built an enviable reputation for their Gorwydd, picking up many awards and accolades along the way.
In 2014 they decided to make the move to Somerset. Their choice was driven by finding the best milk that they could, and they were so impressed by the quality of the milk from Puxton Farm, that they decided to move their business and families from Wales to Somerset in pursuit of perfection. The herd at Puxton Farm is a mix of organically reared pedigree Holstein and Jersey cows. It is unusual to find Jersey milk used in a Cheddar. It could be the extra richness of the Jersey milk that sets Pitchfork apart from the other Artisan Somerset Cheddars, contributing to its moist texture, which is quite unlike the more brittle texture of, for example, Montgomery’s Cheddar.
Todd and Maugan’s decision to make Cheddar was a bold one, but it had a pleasing symmetry to it. There is a long tradition of Somerset Cheddar makers producing Caerphilly. Cheddar takes around twelve months to mature, so the Somerset makers looked across the estuary to Wales for inspiration, and began to make the fresh, crumbly Caerphilly that was being made across the water. The younger cheeses were ready to go to market much sooner, so bringing much needed cash flow to the farm. Todd and Maugan have reversed this tradition. They already had a successful business making and selling their well-established Gorwydd Caerphilly. To invest in the time, equipment and storage facilities needed to make a mature Cheddar was no small thing. But finding themselves so close to Cheddar, they simply couldn’t resist, and we are certainly glad that they heeded the call.
They made their first Cheddars in October 2017 and began to release them a year later in the Autumn of 2018. Imagine their delight, when they were awarded a Gold medal at the 2018 World Cheese Awards and went on to win Best Traditional Cheddar at the 2019 British Cheese Awards.
Named after the pitchforks that are used to toss the curds in the salt just after milling and before packing into the moulds.
* This is a hand-made, artisan cheese, which may contain naturally occurring blue veins. These are normal and intrinsic to the nature of this type of cheese and add to its character. We think they taste good too!
*A whole Pitchfork Cheddar weighs approximately 24kg. Smaller weights are a cut of a whole cheese.
We unashamedly source, care for and sell the best cheese, because that is what we believe in. Our trained cheesemongers cut every piece to order, by hand, and wrap it in our waxed paper. We do this because it is most respectful way to treat this precious food.
|Brand||The Fine Cheese Co.|
|Country of Origin||British Isles|
|Style of Cheese||Hard|
|For Pregnant Women?||Yes|
|Ingredients||Raw Cows' Milk, sea salt, starter cultures, animal rennet|
|Nutritional Info (per 100g)|| |
Energy 1861 kJ/ 449 kcal | Fat 36.4g/100g, Of Which Saturated 0g | Carbohydrate 3.4 g/100g, Of Which Sugars <1.0 g/100g | Protein 26.4 g/100g | Salt 1.62 g/100g
|Allergen Advice||For allergens see ingredients in bold.|
|Storage||Keep refrigerated below 8°. |
Freshly cut and wrapped to order. Best eaten within 10 to 14 days of receipt.