Say hello to our latest new cheese: our Matured Wensleydale. We first performed a trial of this about six months ago and matured it in our trial fridge.
We took our normal Wensleydale cheese, which is golden in colour, rich, creamy and crumbly and bandaged it. We then matured it for three months, during which time it slowly developed a thin rind, maybe 2-3mm, under the bandage.
Our Wensleydale is a long, slow and traditional make, it takes about 8 hours from setting the pasteuriser off to finishing cleaning down. This is about four hours longer than most commercially made Wensleydales. Our cow’s milk comes from a farm about ten miles away from us, from a herd of pedigree Friesians. This is the same Wensleydale we make our mini cheeses from.
As a cheese ages, it will lose moisture. If it is bandaged, there will be a lower moisture loss. The colour of the bandages appeared a little alarming at first as it matured; we took many core samples from the cheese using a cheese iron to check that all was well.
We had to be patient, but that patience paid off as the four trial cheeses we prepared were absolutely gorgeous! Firmer than our young Wensleydale, but still so creamy, ‘tasty’ and crumbly. We did a goat version too and that is exceptional.
The next step was to see how customers felt about them; just because we thought they were tasty, we needed to be sure that customers would also like them.
We tried our new cheese out in the shop and asked customers to try it; it went down really well, (becoming very briefly the second best seller!) and we sold the remaining cheeses in the shop in about three days and set about making more.
The first batch is ready now and already up at the shop. We hope you will like them!