Resident chef Robert Rees gives us the low down on his favourite
cheese suppliers in the county.
One of the first things many people think of when they arrive
in Gloucestershire is Double Gloucester Cheese.
Robert Rees tell us his favourite cheeses
me inform you now, that when you go around your local supermarket
attempting to buy an 'artisan' cheese check out the labelling
before you buy.
have seen Double Gloucesters from Aberdeen and Cheddars from
Isle of Man before now.
though if you live here in Gloucestershire you have many of
these great flavours on your doorstep oozing and maturing
nicely, getting ripe for the eating, cooking and indulging
with cider, perry and wines - local, of course!
are too good to chuck down a hill for Jack to go tumbling
are so many cheeses I am sure to leave some out for which
I apologise but Taste of the West will have a good list of
many of them.
lets start my tasty tour with the delicious Melissa Ravenhill
and her wares from Birdwood House Farm (01452 750248).
has number of different items produced solely by her own fair
hands, and Dunlop and Birdwood Blue are just two.
items are organic from a healthy herd of Friesian Cows. Her
husband does the cow thing most of the time, tending to the
fields and stock and Melissa churns and mixes.
invents the right type of starter to get the cheese of on
its journey and importantly she then has the customer contact
with the sales at the end. Real
farm to fork approach.
sounds so easy when jotted down on paper but having observed
a few times believe me it isn't.
reality for Melissa and many other producers here in the county
it's a way of life. A way to add value to a depressing milk
Many makers still do everything by hand and all battle against
financial bureaucracy and record keeping from every organisation
stop - Marion Conisbee Smith and Cerney Cheese (01285
831312) which is a real eye opener. Again Marion has a number
of cheeses based on a theme of unpasturised goat's milk.*
At the British Cheese Awards in 2001 the Cerney Pyramid won
top cheese. It really is a stunner along with the Banon. Marion
produces these wonderful shavings that melt on top of a warm
crouton or savoury scone with a flavour similar to Parmesan.
has also added value and diversified with cheesecakes, tartlets
and pastry items.
Double Gloucester - a regional cheese
cheese, too strong for me," I hear you cry.
know, I thought the same until I tried Cerney. Trust
me and give it a go. It really is worth it.
up is Diana Smart of Smart's Traditional Gloucester Cheese
(01452 750225) - a lady committed to her cheeses. Stunning
textures, mature flavours and stories etched into the face
of a lady passionate about her work.
markets have become a real breadwinner in Gloucestershire
and between them every market in the county is covered.
Crump of Wick Court Farm, Arlingham (01452 740117)
is the last in the UK to use milk from a Gloucester herd in
a traditional Double Gloucester cheese.
is another hard-working lover of quality, simple flavours
and honesty in his food production systems.
name on most peoples lips when talking of cheese is Charles
Martell of Laurel Farm in Dymock (01531 890637), in my
opinion the Guru, the Godfather, the Boss!!
Single Gloucester is mellow and aromatic beyond belief. His
May Hill Green transports you down to the farmyard itself.
smell and romantic image of a farm comes alive at the first
crack through the mustiness of the rind into that cheese is
one of life's greatest pleasures.
is man that has inspired many of the producers listed above
and many new ones such as Godsells of Leonard Stanley
(01453 827802) who are diversifying into cheese production.
who in my mind in Gloucestershire is the best for flavour?
It can only be one and that is Melissa Ravenhill's Birdwood
tampers with the recipe getting up to consumer quality and
I am lucky enough to taste many of the varieties.
my mind they are all heaven - this is the best blue cheese
in the world and it isn't even finished yet. Go buy it and
judge for yourself.
you see we can do our own Gloucestershire Cheese Board. We
can certainly do a fine British Cheese Board that competes
with the world's finest.
next time you eat out or go shopping in a supermarket in Gloucestershire,
ask for our local cheeses and let people power bring about
the cheese revolution.
Cheese quite rightly should be served in its natural format
but if you do wish to experiment I have provided my favourite
cheese recipe for
that those who are elderly, very young or pregnant are best
advised to avoid unpasturised milk and dairy products as they
are more vulnerable to bacteria, but this is still quite rightly
your own personal choice as a consumer, but check the labelling
and ask your supplier.
more Gloucestershire food and drink suppliers see our Buy
Local guide and map.
if you have a food or cookery question email
Robert Rees at BBC Gloucestershire.