Baron Bigod is an exquisite soft brie-style cheese made in Suffolk at Fen Farm Dairy near Bungay. Jonny and Dulcie Crickmore use the raw rich milk from their Montbéliarde cows to handmake this gold medal winning cheese to a traditional French recipe. The taste is delicate at its centre with yoghurt acidity. Towards its white bloomy rind, which develops over eight weeks of salting and aging, the flavour becomes creamier and richer with aromas of earth and mushroom. Read more
This one is fit for a prince! England's only raw milk Brie. Baron Bigod has a wonderfully smooth texture and flavours of farmyard with a hint of mushroom.
Country of Origin
Baron Bigod is a soft white-rinded Brie-style cheese made near us in Bungay, Suffolk. It has a silky texture and ivory curd. When cut, you will notice it is distinctly layered. The centre is delicate with yoghurty acidity and the outer layers become more unctuous and creamy towards the rind.
Baron Bigod has aromas of earth, farmyard and mushroom with a long finish. It pairs very well with fruity and sparkling wines.
Baron Bigod is widely acclaimed as one of the best cheeses being made in the UK. It won a Gold Medal at the British Cheese Awards 2017 and the James Aldridge Memorial Award for the Best British Raw Milk Cheese 2018. It also has our recommendation!
Baron Bigod is the only traditional raw milk Brie-de-Meaux style cheese produced in the UK. We feel very fortunate that it is made locally by the Crickmore family at their farm near Bungay. The Crickmores named their cheese after the 12th Century Earl of Norfolk, who owned the land on which their cows now graze.
The Crickmore family have been dairy farmers for generations on the water meadows just outside Bungay on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. In 2013, the current generation, Jonathan and Dulcie Crickmore, frustrated by the vagaries of the commodity milk market, began to look for a new way to use their milk.
With encouragement from Neal's Yard Dairy, they developed a Brie-style cheese, seeking guidance from leading French consultant Ivan Larcher. They follow a traditional French recipe to make a cheese like a traditional Brie but with a character all of its own. Its flavours, aromas and characteristics are influenced by the cows' milk and the rich variety of grasses and herbs that grow on the land they graze.
Over time, the Crickmores have been switching their herd of Holsteins for Montbéliardes, a French breed renowned for their protein-rich milk, which is ideal for cheese making. You can read more about what makes the milk special and how Baron Bigod is made in a dairy next door to the milking parlour in our journal: Behind-the-scenes at Fen Farm Dairy.
Baron Bigod is handmade in small batches very early in the morning with raw milk still warm from the cows. Mould cultures are added and the curds are hand-ladled into large moulds. The cheese is salted by hand every day and aged for up to eight weeks in a cave-like environment.
The result is now highly regarded and it is regularly featured in 'Best British Cheese' lists in national newspapers. It was even served to Prince Harry in a croissant with bacon on the morning of his wedding. We think it is superb melted in a cheese toasty too, especially with chilli jam. It is also perfect for any cheeseboard.
Pair Baron Bigod with Prosecco - the bubbles provide a nice crisp contrast on the palate. The fruity nature of Prosecco also enhances the delicate fruit aromas in the cheese as well as its rich creaminess. Other sparkling wines, including Champagne, also work well and our wine expert, Katie Goodchild from Heritage Wines suggests Black Chalk Classic 2015 as a fantastic sparkling wine and cheese match for Baron Bigod -
"Personally, I love sparkling wine with cheese. It is often overlooked in favour of a still white wine but sparkling wine so often has the ability to cut through rich, creamy cheeses and can refresh one’s palate. The grape variety Chardonnay is also a brilliant match for a variety of cheeses, so my tip would be, if choosing a sparkling wine to opt for a wine that is Chardonnay-dominated. Black Chalk Classic 2015 is Chardonnay-dominated (49% Chardonnay, 34% Pinot Meunier, 17% Pinot Noir) which provides a richness to the wine and the pairing with Baron Bigod is particularly scrumptious."
If you prefer a still wine, try a fruity rosé, a dry Riesling or a light Pinot Noir - Katie recommends Bolney Wine Estate Pinot Noir 2018 -
"As with any food and wine match, before choosing a wine think about the dominating flavours of the food you’ll be pairing with. Pinot Noir pairs brilliantly with mushrooms, a key flavour in Baron Bigod. The red fruits found in Bolney Wine Estate’s Pinot Noir counterbalance the earthiness of the cheese, whilst the high acidity of the wine refreshes the palate after each mouthful of creamy, mouth-coating cheese."