Did you know that there are at least twelve Sussex and Hampshire artisan cheesemakers creating 69 different types of cheese, including goats, ewe and cow’s milk?
They come in an incredible variety of shapes, names (Dirty Vicar, The Idle Hour, Lord of the Hundreds) and flavours unique to their South Coast location. Some of those cheesemakers are world beaters, with Hampshire Cheese’s Tunworth winning Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards in 2006 and 2013 and described by Raymond Blanc as ‘The best Camembert in the world’.
When you buy local cheese, you not only support Sussex and Hampshire artisan producers, but also local dairies and farmers, while keeping food miles to a minimum.
Grass fed cows, goats and sheep provide rich milk and delicious, varied cheese that simply cannot be replicated by mass-produced cheese that you find on the supermarket shelf, so it’s well worth exploring some of the cheese varieties that are made on your doorstep.
You can create a truly exceptional cheeseboard, transform your ploughman's or sandwiches, or use local cheese as a main ingredient in your cooking.
Below are some suggestions:
Sussex Charmer - makes “the best cheese on toast”, as seen at prestigious events such as Goodwood and Glastonbury. Bung a generous slice on top of sourdough bread under the grill, good with soup.
Baked Winslade – This gorgeously gooey cows milk cheese is encircled with spruce bark. Pop slivers of garlic into the cheese, and bake in the oven to create a delicious mini fondue.
Pair up Isle of Wight Blue Cheese with seasonal pears, winter salad leaves and walnuts.
Caramelized balsamic and red onion tarts with Golden Cross goats’ cheese.
We stock a large number of these cheeses in our counter at Stansted Park Farm Shop, and can order in any of the other 69 local cheese varieties for you to try. Of course there are a wonderful selection of cheddar, Stilton and other cheese available throughout the UK, Europe and the world, but it’s definitely worth exploring what Sussex and Hampshire has to offer, there’s bound to be a new favourite of yours amongst them.