Handmade in small batches at Fen Farm Dairy, Baron Bigod is made from the raw milk of the farm's herd of Montbeliarde cows. Exceptionally smooth in texture, its lingering flavour has notes of earthiness, farmyard and mushroom.
- Unpasteurised cow's milk
- Traditional rennet
What's special about Baron Bigod?
Fen Farm in the Waveney Valley is situated on the Suffolk-Norfolk border, just outside the town of Bungay. It is the home of Jonny and Dulcie Crickmore, champions of raw milk, happy cows and greener farming. Jonny has been helping with the cows on his family's farm since childhood. Falling milk prices and a deep commitment to animal welfare led the couple to start selling raw (unpasteurised) milk at the farm gate, where today you will find their innovative milk vending machine. They diversified into cheese in 2013 and subsequently butter making.
Baron Bigod is Britain's only raw Brie-de-Meaux style cheese. It is handmade to a traditional French recipe and matured for up to eight weeks. Its golden curd has a smooth, silky texture produced by very gentle treatment of the milk to protect its delicate fat globules. Each morning, warm unpasteurised milk is gravity-fed (rather than pumped) from the milking parlour into the cheese room. Once set, the curd is gently hand ladled into moulds, typically round wheels up to three kilograms in weight. Heart-shaped cheeses are an extremely pretty seasonal variation produced in the run up to Valentine's Day.
Baron Bigod cheese takes its name from the twelfth Earl of Norfolk who once owned the land on which Fen Farm Dairy now stands. This multi-award winning cheese has a distinctive profile under its bloomy rind. As it ripens, breakdown occurs under the rind whilst the centre of the curd remains crumbly with yoghurt acidity. Intensely creamy and mushroomy, the delicious and complex flavour of Baron Bigod is long lasting particularly when well warmed to room temperature before eating.
The herd at Fen Farm consists of Montbeliarde cows, handpicked by Jonny from small farms located on the Alpine slopes of the Jura region in France. This ancient French breed of cows produces milk that is particularly flavoursome and high in protein, perfect for making creamy, rich cheeses such as Vacherin Mont D'Or and Comte. Most of the year the cows at Fen Farm graze the marshlands of Stow Fen. The rich variety of grasses and other plants that grow on this fen give Baron Bigod cheese its unique characteristics. In winter months, the cows are sheltered in deep, open-sided barns with plenty of light and air. As far as possible, they eat a diet of home-grown hay and silage.
The team at Fen Farm Dairy strive not only to make amazing cheese - they seek to maximise the welfare of their cows and minimise the environmental impact of their farming and cheese making activities. Free-range cows have a lower carbon footprint and energy on the farm is harvested from several alternative sources including solar panels, ground-source heating pipes under the cow sheds, and heat exchange from fresh, warm milk. Most recently, the team have been trialling the use of a 'good' bacteria spray with great results in lowering antibiotic use amongst the herd.