Producers-United Kingdom

Cheddarvision Update: Wedginald Auctioned on Ebay

cheddarvision.jpgWedginald, the British Farmstead Cheddar whose year-long aging process has been mercilessly broadcast 24/7 on, is being auctioned off for charity on Ebay. As of today, Wedginald has been maturing for almost 11 months, and according to the Cheddarvision website will be ready to eat "before Christmas." The current high bid is £520, which comes to almost $1100 with the U.S. dollar as weak as it is. Expensive, yes, but can you really put a price on history? All proceeds will be donated to BBC Children in Need.

Blogging Cheesemakers

It's old hat to see blogs by cheese mongers, or other dairy heads, but I have yet to see many blogs from cheese makers themselves. After all, making cheese is so time-consuming, what cheese maker in his or her right mind would choose to spend the little free time they had on blogging? Well there are a couple of new blogs to report on that signal perhaps a new trend, both are from cheese makers who are in the trenches working hard to make the cheeses you and I love to eat.

The first is from LittleFfarm Dairy, a start-up artisan goat cheese maker in South West Wales, UK. Their blog is a daily journal, tracking their progress as they start the business with a herd of pedigree British Toggenburg goats. I don't know how these folks have the time to raise goats, make cheese, AND blog, but I'm glad they do, because the blog really adds a personal dimension to their operation that you don't get with too many other dairies.

Eau de Stilton

File this one under "what the ?#*@ will they think of next?" The UK-based Stilton Cheese Makers Association is releasing a Stilton-scented perfume called Eau de Stilton, as part of a broader campaign to encourage people to eat more of this famous blue cheese.

The SCMA enlisted ID Aromatics to re-create "the earthy and fruity aroma of

Vintage Year for UK Cheddar

Farmhouse Cheddar from Mary Quicke's Dairy in Devon

The Times reports that 2005 was a vintage year for dairying in the West Country of England, in Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Cornwall. The West Country is renowned for its farmhouse cheddars, and last spring saw perfect weather conditions in that area. The air was warm and humid, and the pastures green and lush. The youngest cheddars are aged for 9 months, so we should start seeing these cheeses soon.

E. Coli Outbreak in UK

Reuter's is reporting today on an outbreak in the UK of E. Coli in some unpasteurized French cheeses. The recall involves some varieties of A.O.C. Camembert made in France by Laiterie Fromagerie du Val d'Ay-Etablissement Reaux.

I don't know much about this firm, but according to their website they harvest milk from "auprès d'une centaine de producteurs," or nearly 100 producers. That means that milk from many different cows are being comingled to make the cheese, and only one of those cows has to be infected with E. Coli to infect an entire batch of cheese. Then again, they do say on their website that they check for bacterial quality of the milk they use, so it's puzzling that they could've missed such an outbreak.

In any case, this will certainly heat up the debate over the safety of young raw milk cheeses.

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