Todd Trethowan became interested in making cheese after working behind the counter at Neal’s Yard Dairy twenty years ago, when it was in its infancy and situated in Neal’s Yard. During this time, Todd was collecting cheese from West Country cheesemakers on a weekly basis. Later, while at studying archaeology at university Todd made Tyn Grug for Dougal Campbell (the Tyn Grug recipe went on to be developed into Lincolnshire Poacher and Hafod), and would often fill in for Charlie Westhead at Neal’s Yard Creamery (then based in Kent) making Ragstone, Peroche and Finn.
Wanting to make cheese himself, and having a Welsh grandmother who had once made cheese, the obvious choice seemed to be Caerphilly. Help came from Chris Duckett, a third generation Caerphilly maker from Somerset and, by the 1990s, one of the only people making the cheese in a traditional manner and on the farm. Todd lived in a camper van in Chris Duckett’s llama field for 6 months learning how to make the cheese then returned to his parents’ farm just outside Llanddewi Brefi to begin production 14 years ago. As the business developed, cheesemaking became a family affair, with Todd’s brother Maugan and his wife Kim (also ex of Neal’s Yard Dairy) now leading the cheesemaking.
Trethowan’s Gorwydd (pronounced Gor-with) Caerphilly is a mature Caerphilly made to a traditional recipe using unpasteurised milk. The ingredients combined with working the curd by hand, keep the cheese true to the origins of traditional Caerphilly. The cheese is matured for two months and exhibits a fresh lemony taste with a creamy texture to the outer and a firmer but moist inner. The cheese developed a real following and went on to win a number of awards each year, including at the British Cheese Awards: Best Traditional Cheese, Best Territorial Cheese, Best Welsh Cheese and Best Caerphilly. At the World Cheese Awards, Gorwydd won Best British Cheese.
Todd says “Cheese is akin to DNA – the building blocks of life ! ”