Tunworth is handcrafted in Hampshire on the Herriard Estate near Basingstoke and takes its name from a nearby hamlet. Hampshire Cheeses was founded in 2005 soon after Stacey Hedges began making cheese in her kitchen. She developed the recipe for Tunworth with Julie Cheyney, now the maker of Suffolk's St. Jude
Inspired by visits to the Camembert producers of Normandy, Tunworth is made using traditional techniques including slow overnight acidification of the milk and gentle hand-ladling of the curds into moulds. However unlike the traditional Normandy recipe, which specifies the milk is skimmed for butter-making, no fat is removed from the milk used to make Tunworth, producing a dense and intensely creamy cheese.
Tunworth has an exquisitely wrinkled white rind, thinner than most British Brie and Camembert-style cheeses. This delicate growth of edible Geotrichum yeast makes Tunworth exceptionally flavoursome with a complex earthy aroma, hints of mushroom and deep vegetal tastes. After a couple of weeks of rind development, each Tunworth is packed in its individual Poplar wooden box. This protects the soft cheese and keeps conditions humid whilst it continues to ripen for another two to three weeks ready for eating.
Over the last sixteen years, Tunworth has won many prestigious cheese awards including Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards in both 2006 and 2013. Stacey Hedges continues to run Hampshire Cheeses alongside head cheese maker Charlotte Spruce, making 800 Tunworth cheeses each day. They also make Winslade, a Vacherin-style cheese wrapped in spruce that is rich and piney.
We love the mushroomy fragrance and long lasting flavours of a perfectly ripe Tunworth. On a cheese board it is delicious with a drizzle of truffle honey or a spoonful of spiced fruit chutney. It is also exceptional baked in its box, studded with rosemary.
Wine pairing with Tunworth
Our wine expert, Katie Goodchild from Heritage Wines recommends Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blancs 2015 -
“Chardonnay dominant sparkling wine with a little age will pair perfectly. Chapel Down Kit’s Coty Blanc de Blancs 2015 is ideal; it’s lean acidity balances the salty cheese and the delicate bubbles cut through Tunworth’s creamy texture. Notes of fresh and baked apple are complementary to the cheese’s savoury flavours."