It’s an exciting time to be a cheese lover in East Anglia. Here at Slate, we’re passionate about our local cheeses, which have been scooping up awards and finding themselves on some very notable plates.
Without a tradition of cheesemaking, many of our producers have taken fresh and innovative paths to create their unique and outstanding cheeses. It has been a privilege to visit each of the local producers whose cheese we stock. With awe, we’ve watched the care and hard work that goes into every batch they make by hand. It was joyous to see so many happy cows, goats and sheep too, peacefully grazing the green and pleasant fields we love.
We hope you enjoy discovering these East Anglian cheeses as much as we have.
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
Mrs Temple’s handmade Binham Blue is the pride of Norfolk. Handmade at Copys Green Farm in Wighton, Catherine Temple uses milk from the farm’s own herd of Brown Swiss cows. We’ve had the privilege of watching Catherine at work in her dairy adding the spores of Penicillium Roqueforti that make it blue. The result is an award-winning full flavoured and creamy textured cheese with a wonderful bite and a sweet tang. Read more
Suffolk Gold is a light crumbly farmhouse cheese with a beautiful golden colour. Katharine and Jason Salisbury, the founders of Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, installed a dairy on their farm near Needham Market in 2009, where Katharine handmakes their cheeses from the pasteurised milk of their robotically milked Guernsey and Jersey herd. Suffolk Gold’s colour is a delightful peculiarity of Guernsey milk. The flavour is creamy and buttery with a light tang. Read more
St Jude is a sumptuous soft cheese with a dense creamy texture, delicate rind and complex milky flavours of butter and fresh grass. It is produced by Julie Cheyney at White Wood Dairy at Fen Farm in Bungay, Suffolk. Like Fen Farm Dairy’s Baron Bigod, St Jude is made from the raw protein-rich milk of the farm’s Montbéliarde cattle, traditionally used for Alpine cheeses such as Comte and Vacherin. Maturation takes place at Neal’s Yard Dairy, where the cheeses are carefully packed into wooden boxes for sale. Read more
Suffolk Blue is a luxuriously creamy lightly blue-veined cheese. It is handmade at Whitegate Farm in Creeting St Mary, Suffolk, alongside East Anglian favourite Suffolk Gold. Here, husband and wife team Katharine and Jason Salisbury, the founders of Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, have installed a robotic milking system for their herd of Guernsey and Jersey cows. The rich pasteurised milk from these cows gives their cheeses a delightful buttery flavour. Katharine adds Penicillium Roqueforti spores to her Suffolk Blue curds then pierces the cheeses after a week to encourage veining. Summer-made cheeses are often naturally bluer than winter-made ones. Nonetheless, soft and sumptuous Suffolk Blue delivers subtle flavours throughout the year. Read more
Norfolk Dapple is a cheddar-style cheese made by Ferndale Cheeses in Norfolk. Maker Arthur Betts uses unpasteurised cow’s milk from a local herd of pedigree Holstein-Friesians and traditional ‘cheddaring’ methods to create this rich and round cheese with a hint of nuttiness. Its namesake dappling develops on the truckles’ cloths while it matures for between five and eight months. Read more
Norfolk White Lady is a full fat, Brie-style cheese produced by Jane Murray at Willow Farm Dairy just outside Norwich. Made from pasteurised ewe's milk, it has a bloomy white rind and pale ivory paste. The creamy texture and rich flavour of this mould-ripened cheese develop with age. Its taste is slightly sharper than traditional Brie due to the natural tanginess of ewe's milk. Warm it at room temperature for at least an hour to enjoy at its oozy best. Read more
There are no mountains to be found near Copys Green Farm, Wighton, but this doesn't stop Catherine Temple producing Norfolk's very own Alpine-style cheese. Inspired by the local cheeses she discovered on a European cycling holiday, this semi-hard cheese is handmade to a Gruyere recipe using milk from the farm's own herd of Brown Swiss cows. Matured for six to nine months, Wells Alpine has a sweet, nutty flavour and a pleasant tang. Read more
With its distinctive yellow wax coating, Norfolk Mardler is one of the most eye-catching in our wall of cheese. Inside, its paste is bright white and firm with a delicious creamy taste and subtle hint of goatiness. Sam Steggles began making cheese in 2009 after buying ten milking goats while on holiday in Cumbria. Fielding Cottage, his business, now has a purpose built cheeseroom and around 800 Saanen, Toggenberg and Alpine goats. Read more
Norfolk Tawny is a semi-hard cheese with a texture similar to Caerphilly but a taste all of its own. Maker Arthur Betts of Ferndale Cheeses washes this cheese in Stoatwobbler beer from nearby Beeston Brewery. This imparts a subtle ale flavour. It also helps to ripen the cheese and creates a distinctive texture to the rind. Arthur’s award-winning cheese is based on Taleggio from Italy and is made from local unpasteurised milk. Read more
Ferndale Cheeses’s Norfolk Dapple spends at least twelve hours in a bespoke refrigerator with the smoke of oak wood pellets to become Smoked Dapple. The result is multiple layers of flavour. We love the balance of smokiness, richness, roundness and nuttiness. The ‘dapple’ on this cheese is the beautiful speckling of colours that develop on this clothbound cheese as it matures for between five and eight months. Read more
St Cera is a delectable scoopable version of St Jude with a stronger flavour. Both cheeses start the same way at White Wood Dairy at Fen Farm in Bungay, Suffolk. Here, Julie Cheyney handmakes her cheeses using the rich unpasteurised milk from the farm’s Montbéliarde cows. It is their different maturation processes which create the differences between the cheeses. As it ages, St Cera is washed regularly in a brine solution while St Jude develops a white mould ripened rind. Brine washing gives St Cera its orange/pink colouring and distinctive taste. It is a deliciously meaty cheese with flavours reminiscent of bacon. Read more
St Helena is a brand new cheese from the makers of St Jude and St Cera. Based at Fen Farm nearby Bungay, Suffolk, they use the raw milk of the farm's Montebeliarde cows to create this supple washed rind cheese made to a St Nectaire recipe and aged on rye straw mats. Milky and sweet with just a hint of tangy farmyard at the finish, St Helena is an excellent melter and we love it alongside the crunchy sharpness of our Slate pickles. Read more