We ought to have a really cool sexy name for this cheese. But we don’t – it is what it says on the tin.
This is our mature Wensleydale. Our cow’s milk comes from just ten miles away and is a single source from a small herd of award winning pedigree Friesian cows.
It is golden in colour and as a result of us bandaging it in traditional cloths, it has a thin natural rind. It is firm in texture, yet crumbly, rich, golden and very tasty with almost a farmhouse sort of tang to it. Have to confess, I really like this, especially with our Macho Man Chilli Jam. Yum.
When people come in to the shop, where I work on Sundays, I explain that we have five Wensleydales: I show them the young, moist, crumbly and fairly acidic fresh Wensleydale (two gold stars at the Great Taste Awards!), then the middle version: Tasty Wensleydale which has a little more age on it and is creamier yet still crumbly, then I show customers this Matured Wensleydale. I stack the three on top of each other so that people can see the graduation in colour, from pale yellow/white (the Old Tyme Wensleydale), the primrose coloured (Tasty Wensleydale) and the golden yellow of this Matured Wensleydale.
I don’t know whether it is psychological, but more often than not, customers choose the Tasty Wensleydale, the middle one. I have to say, whilst the Tasty is good, I prefer the Matured Wensleydale.
The other two Wensleydales that we make are Smoked Wensleydale which we smoke over oak chippings and our Blue Wensleydale: that makes five! Who would have thought that just three years on, we would be making 16 of our own cheeses, not to mention five different Wensleydales.
Hats off to Stu who now makes all of our cheese, with a bit of help here and there from Lydia, Mark and I.