Give your Dad something ‘grate’ this Father’s Day
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This Father’s Day, why not treat your cheese-loving dad to a selection of full-flavoured cheeses? With these suggestions from Slate in Aldeburgh, you can create a perfectly balanced cheeseboard of exquisite flavours and smooth textures - guaranteed to blow his socks off!
From the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland, Doddington is a hard, pressed cheese which sits somewhere between a Cheddar and a Leicester in its recipe. The cheese is matured for 12 to 24 months on pine shelves in the cool Northumbrian air, during which it develops a distinctive dark reddish-brown rind. This natural rind can be eaten but may be a little chewy for some palates. Doddington also has a deep yellow paste and bright, savoury flavour with grassy notes and a long lasting nuttiness. Its firm texture is smooth and dry. It pairs perfectly with the sweetness of apple or quince chutney and is well matched by a glass of Merlot, and takes its name from the family farm where it is handmade from the warm raw milk of the farm's own herd of cows.
Wild Garlic Cornish Yarg
Cornish Yarg - produced by Lynher Dairies in Ponsanooth, Cornwall - is a fresh, lemony cheese that is creamy under its natural rind as well as slightly crumbly towards the core. Cornish Yarg is well known for its distinctive nettle-wrapped exterior but cheese enthusiasts should also try its seasonal variation encased in wild garlic leaves. Wild garlic is picked in the Cornish woodlands around Lynher Dairies each spring, where it thrives in moist, semi-shaded locations under the trees. The beautiful bright green leaves have a pungent aroma and impart a gentle garlicky flavour to the cheese within. Their higher moisture content also gives the Yarg a slightly firmer texture than its nettle-wrapped sibling.
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Dorset Blue Vinny
Dorset Blue Vinny is a multi-award winning blue cheese, however is little known outside the West Country. Handmade at Woodbridge Farm in Sturminster Newton, north Dorset to a 300-year-old recipe (using hand-skimmed milk from the farm's Holstein-Friesian cows), this cheese has a distinct taste. Dorset Blue Vinny is a lightly-pressed, crumbly cheese matured for about 16 weeks. It is creamy in flavour with a mellow blue taste and edible rind; tasting superb on an oatcake with a spoonful of the farm's own pear and spice chutney. The name Dorset Blue Vinny comes from a local Dorset term 'vinew', meaning to become mouldy. It could also be that 'vinny' is a corruption of the word 'veiny' referring to the blue pattern running through the cheese.
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As its name suggests, Chilcote Brick is an individual 'brick' shaped cheese, inspired by French cheese-making in the Loire valley - yet this version is produced by Innes Cheese at Highfields Farm Dairy in south-east Staffordshire. This family-run dairy has a mixed herd of 350 goats, and around two hundred of these are milked twice daily, each goat producing three litres of milk per day. Chilcote Brick has a peachy-golden colour with a dusting of Geotrichum Candidum moulds on its thin, undulating rind. It is aged for three to four weeks and has a velvety, smooth texture that becomes creamy under the rind as it matures. Its flavour is bright and sweet with notes of hazelnut around its lactic core. Chilcote Brick pairs well with the citrusy notes of a Sauvignon Blanc or a cup of green tea, while also tasting beautiful in a fresh green salad or served grilled with roasted vegetables.
Mør Wholemeal Spelt and Sourdough Snap crackers
Complete your cheese feast with crackers that beautifully complement the cheeses in terms of both taste and texture. Slate suggests Mør Wholemeal Spelt and Sourdough Snap crackers - made to a traditional Norwegian recipe for knekkebrød, these crackers have a rounded earthy flavour and perfect crunch, just as the name suggests!