Cow's cheese • Crumbly • British
£6.50 – £26.00
The dairy and farm are part of the rhythm of family life at Hawkstone Abbey Farm. A strong desire to have a more harmonious relationship with the biodynamics of the land has prompted recent changes to the way Appleby’s farm, and produce their cheeses.
The farm has undergone a conversion towards a more regenerative and sustainable way of farming. Each cloth bound Cheshire encapsulates a moment in time – the soil, the traditional grass pastures, the gentle cows, the weather, the season. The fresh, raw milk is the master ingredient, to which is added traditional cultures, rennet, salt from the Cheshire Plains and the extract of the annatto seed, which gives their coloured Cheshire it’s warm sunrise colour. These time capsules are matured in old barns with napoleonic timbers. The provenance and flora of the natural surroundings give Appleby’s cheeses a flavour that is totally unique.
The future of British Territorial cheeses like Appleby’s is exciting. Small traditional farmhouse dairies making delicious, thought-provoking cheeses, from a herd of grazing animals that give people pleasure as they eat, would be a marvellous legacy for farmers and cheesemakers over the centuries.
The ethos behind the way the Appleby’s farm and make their produce today is very much influenced by Paul’s grandparents; Lance and Lucy Appleby. Lucy came from a line of Cheshire cheesemaking matriarchs, cheesemaking being a female role, and once she and Lance had married and settled at Hawkstone Abbey Farm in 1952 they founded Appleby’s in the stables next to the farmhouse kitchen. There it has stayed as one of the last remaining ‘farmhouse’ cheese dairy’s.
And this heritage is such an intrinsic part of what they do, from the way they farm to the way they think about maturation. In their traditional dairy they make ‘edible heritage’ in a way that still learns from Lucy’s incredible cheese making notes and has an exciting future influenced by those same traditions and values.