Denhay Farmhouse Cheddar

May 28, 2009

 A new cheese arrived this week at The Lady’s Kiosk: Denhay Farmhouse Cheddar from the Marshwood Vale in the West Country of England.

This award-winning cheese has been made on the Denhay Farm since 1959 using traditional skills and techniques that have been used for generations and results in a consistently high-quality cheddar.

The Lady brought a small wedge home for her favorite feline foodie(that would be me!!) to sample and review and I gotta tell you, this is one happy feline foodie…It is bandage-wrapped and that adds to its distinctive nutty yet mellow flavor. It has a smooth texture, with just a bit of the crumbliness of a cheddar. It is a mature cheddar that is aged in wooden boxes for up to a year. That year fully develops the flavor. You won’t be disappointed in this cheddar.

A little bit about the farm. At Denhay every one of the 1000 Holstein cows have their own mattress. The five herds were selected for the high protein quality of their milk. The welfare of the cows is audited independently by the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods scheme. In the summer the cows graze the grass and the farm has cow-friendly tracks for the cows to get to the fields. Surplus grass to the grazing is made into silage for storage as winter feed. The silage naturally ferments and is easily digested by the cows. In addition, the farm also grows corn and wheat for cow feed. In the winter when it is too cold and wet for the cows to go outside, they are kept inside and fed the grass, wheat and corn silage. They add wheat and soya cereal for supplements to their winter diet. All of the milk produced by the 1000 cows is used on the farm to produce the cheese and butters.

Simon Hill, the Farm Director, is the one person responsible for everything from breeding to feeding to the welfare of the cows. My hat (if I had one) would go off to Denhay for their responsible care of their herds.

This feline foodie gives Denhay Farmhouse Cheddar 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got) and because I think the farm is totally cool when it comes to the welfare of its animals, I’m adding a little tail-wagging as well.

Serving Suggestions: this cheddar goes quite well with grilled Marmota vancouverensis; however, The Lady has warned me that this tasty tidbit is on the endangered species list and I should take it off my “wish list”…sheesh…This cheddar also goes well with apples, pears, walnuts and Marcona Almonds (of course, Marcona Almonds go with anything…after all, they are fried…what’s not to like). You can melt it on toast; you can shred it and use it in mac n cheese or any other dish that calls for cheddar. It makes a mighty fine grilled cheese.

Wine Pairings: Meritage, Shiraz, Zinfandel.

Beer Pairings: Pale Ale

Source: Holstein Cows

Awards: 2008 – no less than 25 awards around the world

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