May 07, 2012

Neal's Yard Dairy

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a class about one  of our cheese providers, Neal's Yard Dairy(NYD).  Being able to hear first hand all about the cheese they offer made me a little giddy. That's right. Giddy.  I had flashbacks to the thrill of the Herve Mons class from several years ago.  I had the urge to jump up and find a way to work hands on with cheese everyday.  Oh wait. I already do that! Excellent...
Purveyors or Pushers...hmmm

Neal's Yard is not actually a cheese making company.  Well, not any more.  They essentially take British farmhouse cheese makers under their wing in order to encourage traditional cheese making.  From there NYD promotes and sells the cheeses across the world.  Thus helping to preserve some amazing regional curd from around the British Isles.
Leah Lewis, U.S. export sales, and James Rutter, export and wholesale sales, ran us through a tasting of three diverse and extraordinary NYD offerings.  All together we had Appleby's Cheshire, Quicke's Cheddar (made by the apparently delightful Mary Quicke and her brood), and the shining star of the whole deal the Borough Market Stilton Blue.
I am going to frame my map of British Cheeses

They were all stunning in  flavor though the Stilton Blue jumped out at me the strongest.  Light and creamy on the tongue but packing a wallop of black pepper, sweet cream and delightful bluey-ness.  I cannot wait to pick up yet another hunk of this fine fine cheese to eat as is.   Perhaps I may even dress it up with a little wildflower honey.  You know, just to be fancy.
This is James Rutter.  He led us on our magical cheese tour. c/o Neal's Yard Dairy