Pitchfork has a golden colour and succulent texture. Its flavour has savoury tones well balanced by bright acidity and hints of tropical fruit. It has a long lasting tangy finish which pairs beautifully with a slice of fresh crunchy apple or a spoonful of Slate chutney.
- Unpasteurised organic cow's milk
- Traditional rennet
What's special about Pitchfork?Brothers Todd and Maugan Trethowan are best known for the Gorwydd Caerphilly they have been making for over two decades. This multi-award winning raw milk Caerphilly is matured for two to three months, longer than a typical Caerphilly, to develop its natural rind and depth of flavour. After 18 years of cheese making in Wales, they moved to Somerset in 2014 in search of high quality raw cow's milk. They relocated to Hewish to use organic milk from Puxton Farm, home to a mixed herd of Jersey and Holstein cows.
With their new base just five miles from Cheddar Gorge, and a successful business behind them to enable the necessary investment in time, equipment and storage facilities required to make an aged cheese, the brothers developed their Pitchfork Cheddar recipe in 2017. Production started in late 2017 with very small batches of just ten or twelve cheeses. With building work still underway to create their own maturing room, these first cheeses were matured at nearby Westcombe Dairy under the care of Westcombe's cheese-turning robot. Launched twelve months later, Pitchfork immediately won a Gold Medal at the World Cheese Awards 2018 and went on to be crowned Best Traditional Cheddar at this year's British Cheese Awards. Its name refers to the forks used to toss the curds in salt after milling, before being packed into moulds.
It is unusual to find Jersey milk being used in the production of Cheddar cheese. The rich, creamy milk produced by Jersey cows contains larger fat globules from which it can be difficult to create a well-structured curd. At Montgomery's, Jersey milk is not used in their Cheddar; instead it is used to create Ogleshield - Somerset's version of Alpine Raclette. In Pitchfork, Jersey milk gives the cheese its golden colour, extra richness and a moist, smooth texture. In comparison Montgomery's Cheddar is drier and more brittle.
Each truckle of Pitchfork weighs around 24kg. Having been handmade to a traditional recipe using animal rennet, each cheese is covered in cloth and matured for twelve months. Naturally occurring blue veins may occasionally be found running through a truckle. This is the result of natural Penicillin Roqueforti in the air and is intrinsic to the cheese as it is handmade. These veins add character to the cheese and have good flavour.
Pitchfork has been accepted into the Slow Food Artisanal Cheddar Presidium, an honour that goes to only three other Cheddar makers: Westcombe, Keen's and Montgomery's. This organisation aims to protect traditional foods from extinction, and it is a true testament to the quality of Pitchfork that it has received this award so soon.