I think we have been providing cheese for this ceremony every year since we started cheese making and it’s one of the things we really love doing!
The Annual Ceremony of Christmas Cheeses has been taking place for more than 300 years, with Chelsea war veterans being supplied with a wide range of cheeses at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Here’s a bit of history about the ceremony http://www.history.uk.com/history/christmas-cheeses-chelsea/
And here’s some old Pathe footage http://bit.ly/1yjE9GV
We were delighted to win a
Supergold medal in the specialist cheese makers association category of the recent World Cheese Awards.
This year’s award means so much to us because it comes so soon after moving the dairy and was won with some of the very first cheese we made with the new milk.
We finished the build of the new dairy at Puxton Court Farm in early August and without stopping to take a breath after the last drain was laid, milk pipe
installed and deep clean completed we launched headlong into production.
We had customers to supply and we had to hit the ground running, while making sure that Gorwydd Caerphilly retained its essential character and taking advantage of the new dairy and the fantastic new milk source to make it even better.
The move was a mighty effort and it’s reassuring to know that it isn’t
just us who think the cheese is better than ever! We are delighted with every aspect of the new dairy, from the wonderful milk, and the way it is gravity fed from the milking parlour to
the vat, through to the technology that allows us to regulate the conditions of our store rooms – where the cheese matures.
We work really closely with Steve Hearn, the herdsman to ensure
that the milk produced has just the right levels of butter fat, protein and the right flavours for
making Gorwydd Caerphilly. The milk is piped gently into the dairy so as to retain the structure of the milk molecules. Once the milk is in the vat, it continues to be treated with the
utmost of care – and the curd is cut by hand, which again means that the fullness and body of the milk is retained and this results in a creamy, full favoured cheese with a wonderful
We’ll be celebrating with a massive chunk of cheese (and maybe something nice to drink with it).
The one benefit to the horrible weather we’ve seen this week is that the cows have come indoors a few weeks earlier than planned. This means their diet has changed and they’re now on silage.
This is great news as butterfat has gone up and the milk is extra creamy. They’ve only been indoors since Tuesday and already we can feel the difference in the milk.
The curd is handling differently. Feels silkier and there is more resistance against the harp when cutting the junket.
The resulting creamier cheeses are the ones that will be ready for eating in December and Christmas. 😄
This beautiful photo of Rose – one of our lovely herd – was taken by Frederico Colarejo.
Autumn is always wonderful but this year for us, it is particularly special. It marks the time that the first cheeses from the new milk and the new dairy are ready and tasted for the first time.
They are moulding up nicely in the new maturing rooms and we took them to Abergavenny Food Festival, sampled them out for the first time and got so much really brilliant feedback.
What is more, the cows are still outside and the countryside is looking beautiful.
Happy happy Autumn.
Today our beautiful old Dutch vat was sawn in half and chopped up by Ces. End of a era at Gorwydd!
Here’s a few pics and then in case they leave you feeling sad, there’s a photo of our beautiful NEW Dutch vat in our new dairy at the end of this post…
and in with the new….
We have one week of making Gorwydd Caerphilly in the new dairy under our belt! And we love it!
The dairy works really well, great flow and some really great special extras like the gravity feed pipe. It was worth all the hard work getting that bulk tank up on a frame!
There is still lots to do but sitting outside after work, with their backs against the make room wall, having a cider and watching the cows, Todd and Maugan took a minute to enjoy their new dairy.