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
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
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
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
This locally produced cheddar-style cheese is made by Susan Richards at Rodwell Farm Dairy in Baylham, Ipswich. Unpasteurised milk from the farm’s own dairy cows provides its unique nutty flavour and long complex finish. The curds and whey are scalded at high temperatures to create its robust texture and give length to the flavour. Vintage Shipcord is then matured for approximately twelve months, developing acidity and tang as it ages. 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