People who know me know that one of my favourite sayings apart from ‘I love my pigs’ is that there are TWO cheese makers in Hawes.
Not many people know this and that we make award winning Wensleydale ourselves using milk from a small, local traditional farmer called Thomas. Thomas is very shy and it took him a good eighteen months before he would come in and have a cup of coffee with us.
So, we decided to try and do something a little different with our Wensleydale and came up with the idea of small hand waxed in red balls of Wensleydale. This was my idea but we needed a name…..so I was in my local one Sunday night with my slightly eccentric friend and fellow Radio 4 aficionado Pat (who runs the tea van at the Ribblehead junction) where between slurps of beer we thought of potential names.
We came up with two and I can’t remember who thought of which, but here they are: Hawes Balls and Yorkshire Bowlers. Personally, I rather liked the former. I phoned a few friendly customers to ask their opinion and encountered a few long, strange silences at the mention of Hawes Balls so the general feeling was that Yorkshire Bowlers would be a better name.
It took us a few weeks to get the making process right where me and Stu tried curd straight out of the vat, we tried
milling Wensleydale cheese that we had already made and we tried crumbling it up by hand until we hit on the best way to make them. And then Stu had a eureka moment: he experimented with adding a piece of food grade string around the cloth prior to hand waxing which gives the appearance of the seam of a cricket ball….inspired!
We now have labels and are selling about 100-150 a week and we have an order for 200 for The Cheese Society in Lincoln to go out at the beginning of December. They are going in Christmas selection boxes and in their shop – get your order in now!