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
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
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