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Cornish Cheese- A Culinary Revival

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May 31, 2014 / English / By
Rachael

 

Cornwall is famed for its fresh local food and in recent years has seen a resurgence in traditional  production with  a focus on traceability. For visitors to the county there are some real quality items to buy, cook and taste. There are lots of options for picnics, fine dining and self catering on a holiday to Cornwall and one of the emerging specialties is cheese.

In Cornwall cheesemaking is taking on a whole new era with many local farms producing unique and award winning varieties. Several types of local cheese have distinctive names and are not seen anywhere else in the United Kingdom. They not only reflect the Cornish language but also the countryside and Celtic culture.

One of the most famous varieties of cheese in Cornwall is the distinctive Cornish Yarg. This hard cheese is traditionally wrapped in stinging nettles and left to mature. Yarg comes from a 13th century recipe and was named by reversing the surname of Grays, the farm owner, where it was produced.The nettles were applied historically to preserve the cheese and give it the famous appearance. Served with its nettle covering, Cornish Yarg is one of the favourites and is also sometimes flavoured with wild garlic leaves. Another modern twist in cheesemaking here is Cornish Tiskey which is flavoured with basil, sun dried tomatoes and oregano. There is also a Cornish cheese called Afterburn which has chillies flavouring it.

Cornish Blue cheese is an award winning variety produced from local cow's milk and rennet. It is dry salted by hand and then left to mature for around 12 weeks. During this time the blueing feature occurs in a process using a steel rod. This pierces the cheese as it matures causing the blue veins to appear.The taste is very distinctive and it is excellent as part of a cheeseboard. Served with plain biscuits or bread it is delicious.

Soft cheeses are very popular in Cornwall and there are delicious Camemberts and Bries. St Endellion is one of the best known soft cheeses in Cornwall and is very popular. Gevrik is a renowned goat's cheese made in Cornwall and has won many awards.Somoked cheeses are also produced and are found in farm shops and delis across the region. The quality of Cornish cheese is superb and with names like Cornish Smuggler and Village Green the culture and beauty of the county is evoked in the name.

Some of the best places to buy Cornish cheese is at the Farmers Market in Truro and also at the many farm shops across the county. Many offer tastings and a wide selection of local produce. These cheeses are quite unique with many not seen outside Cornwall. They are perfect for a picnic or as a talking point at a dinner party. The revival in the cheese industry in Cornwall has been tremendous with new varieties emerging all the time. For farmers it has been a good source of income and has created real interest in locally produced foods. When in Cornwall do look out for local cheeses and taste something different on a cheeseboard.

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