Rich and creamy soft cheeses are the ultimate indulgence. Brie and Camembert may spring to mind first, but British artisan soft cheeses can now rival France’s best.
British Brie-style cheeses, like ripe Brie de Meaux, are sumptuous and complex with delightfully gooey centres. You may detect aromas of earth and mushroom, particularly towards their bloomy rinds. Other soft cheeses, meanwhile, may have a fresher, more lactic taste. Flavours may be reminiscent of butter and fresh grass.
Vacherin Mont D'Or is exceptionally soft and creamy. This seasonal cheese is rich and voluptuous — and its autumn arrival is always eagerly anticipated by the team!
Soft cheeses can be incredible baked until runny. Otherwise, soft cheeses are best served at room temperature. Add some fruit and pecan nuts for contrasting tastes and textures.
Dorstone is a turret-shaped goat’s cheese coated with edible ash. This traditional technique for maturing fresh cheeses neutralises acidity and creates ideal conditions for desired mould growth and rind formation. The texture within is smooth and moussy when eaten young, becoming firmer as it matures. The flavour has a soft citrus tang and yeasty notes. Dorstone is made by Charlie Westhead at Neal's Yard Creamery near Dorstone Hill in Herefordshire. Read more
Slate favourite Hay on Wye is a fresh goat’s cheese made by Charlie Westhead of Neal's Yard Creamery in Herefordshire, which overlooks the town of Hay on Wye. Loosely modelled on the French cheese Selles-sur-Cher, it is coated with edible ash and sold very young — just two to three weeks old. Inside, it is bright white with a fine, smooth texture and a fresh, creamy taste. 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
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