Feeling a little indecisive? Some days it’s difficult to know whether you’re Elvis in the shower, wowzers you sound sooo good and spangle is good any time of the day isn’t it? Or maybe you’re feeling a little more Nirvana, loud, dishevelled but rocking the look nonetheless. Thankfully for days like these we bring you the perfect cheese. Vintage poacher gives a nod to the finest cheddar but with a hint of the alpine Comte thanks to the way it is made. Not only can it taste like two cheeses at once, it will allow you to remain indecisive as it will happily morph to accompany any situation: toastie, ploughman’s, vino partner and so on. Your new favourite maybe?
Simon Jones’s family have been farming for four generations. However, Simon himself only began making cheese in 1992, helped by Dougal Campbell, a Welsh cheesemaker who learnt his cheesemaking craft in the Alpine mountains. They proudly ‘grow the grass, milk the cows, make the cheese’. The grass is clover-rich without the addition of any fertilisers which in turn creates a sweet milk. From early March the cows are out grazing until October. The feed is grown on the farm (spring greens, winter beet etc) which complements the spring grass. Their pedigree Holstein Friesians and Ayrshires provide the milk, which doesn’t have an overly high fat content, and it is then matured for a long time – sometimes more than three years. It’s a little drier and firmer and the longer maturation gives a fruity and nutty taste. This raw farmhouse cheese has natural flora and fauna which requires little starter culture and the flavour reflects this. Thanks partly to the chalky soil, it varies massively as the season changes: the spring season cheese is candle-waxy and sweet while the winter cheese is savoury and nutty.