From the luscious green pastures of Hampshire's rounded hills, Winslade is a British cross between Vacherin Mont D'Or and Camembert.
Entirely handmade from pasteurised cow's milk, Winslade is encircled in a thin strip of spruce. This wooden collar imparts subtle notes of pine, which sit along side flavours of earthiness and mushroom. Its rind is white, developing a delicate pinkish hue with age. When ripe, Winslade is a soft and velvety cheese that is best enjoyed spooned out of its collar.
- Pasteurised cow's milk
- Traditional animal rennet
What is special about Winslade?
Winslade, and its better know sibling Tunworth, are made by Hampshire Cheeses on the Herriard Estate near Basingstoke in northern Hampshire. This multi-award winning artisan dairy was set up in 2005. Having worked as a cheesemonger in her hometown of Sydney, Stacey Hedges created her first cheese Tunworth alongside friend Julie Cheyney who is now lives in Suffolk and makes one of Slate's favourites: St Jude.
At Hampshire Cheeses, Stacey now makes cheese with Charlotte Spruce and their small team using cow's milk bought in from nearby farms. Both Tunworth and Winslade are entirely handmade using traditional Camembert techniques including overnight acidification and hand ladling. They are individual cheeses of the same size so that the same tools can be used in the cheese making process.
Winslade was created in 2013, taking its name from a local Hampshire town. Since then it has won a host of awards from "Best New Cheese" in the British Cheese Awards of 2013 to most recently "Best Soft Cheese" in the 2018 Artisan Cheese Awards.
A rind of Geotrichum moulds surrounds the soft, silky paste of Winslade. Initially bright white, this rind develops a pinkish hue and dappled appearance similar to many washed rind cheeses. The rind of Winslade is not washed but the moulds and bacteria typical of a washed rind cheese are used to make it and each Winslade is then matured in a high humidity, ammonia rich atmosphere for eight weeks.
In texture and flavour, Winslade is a cross between traditional Camembert and the seasonal treat Vacherin Mont D'Or. It is an unctuous cheese, which softens with age. When young, wedges may be cut through the spruce collar. With a riper Winslade it is best to bring it to room temperature for an hour or so before serving and then spoon it out, perhaps slicing off the top of the cheese to allow crusty bread to be dipped in. This gooey cheese is also perfect for baking to create an instant mini fondue. Like a Vacherin, the spruce collar gives Winslade distinctive pine and subtle floral notes. Behind these are mushroom and cabbage flavours reminiscent of Camembert.