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  • Ned palmer

The British Cheese Weekender - Saturday 9th May, 7pm

Updated: May 5, 2020

A Cheesemonger's History of the British Isles - In 30 minutes

The Cheeses


Made by Anne Wigmore in Berkshire.

Unpasteurised sheep’s milk, vegetable rennet.

Substitutions: Any hard sheep's cheese!

Gorwydd Caerphilly

Made by the Trethowan Family in Weston-Super-Mare

Unpasteurised cow’s milk, animal rennet.

Substitutions: Duckett's Caerphilly, or indeed any other proper good farmhouse Caerphilly with a mould rind, crumbly British cheeses like Cheshire or Lancashire.


Made by Joe Schneider and his team in Nottinghamshire

Unpasteurised cow’s milk, animal rennet.

Substitutions: Raw milk Stilton styles Young Buck from Northern Ireland or Sparkenhoe Blue from Leicestershire, or of course Stilton!

Westcombe Cheddar

Made by Tom Calver and his team in Somerset.

Unpasteurised cow’s milk, animal rennet.

Substitutions: Proper good cloth bound traditional Cheddar. Pitchfork is the closest in flavour and texture. Other prominent West Country Cheddars include Keens, Montgomery's and Quickes. The Welsh Hafod and Scottish St. Andrews are excellent and fairly close to Westcombe. Isle of Mull and Lincolnshire Poacher are smashing, but a little different in their flavour profile.


Made at Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes, North Yorkshire

Pasteurised cow’s milk, animal rennet.

Substitutions: Hawes Wensleydale, is very much its own thing, affected by the requirements of wartime cheesemaking. Thankfully it is widely available. Of the other Wensleydales, Richard III is probably most similar in texture. Fellstone AKA Whin Yeats is a smashing cheese that in its higher moisture reminds us of pre-war Wensleydale.

Renegade Monk

Made by Marcus Fergusson in Somerset.

Pasteurised cow’s milk, vegetarian rennet.

Substitutions: Seeing that Marcus Fergusson deliberately created a novel style, a hybrid washed rind/blue, subs are difficult but particularly pungent washed rinds - if you can get hold of an Irish Milleens for example - will do pretty much the same thing.

Buying your cheese

If your local cheesemonger doesn't have the exact cheeses, they will be able to help you with substitutions. Here are three of my favourite shops, who all do UK deliveries: The Courtyard Dairy, The Fine Cheese Co., Neal's Yard Dairy, and here is a list of shops all over the UK and Ireland who can help you out:

Drinks to match

I personally am going to be enjoying my cheese with Howling Hops' rather juicy House IPA, Kernel Brewery's invigorating Export India Porter and if the mood takes me, a glass of Royal Tokaji 2016 Furmint from Laithwaites. Acceptable substitutions would be any juicy IPA, a rich full bodied porter or stout, a white wine with restrained acidity and a bit of sweetness.

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