Q Are you really THE ONLY cheddar cheese makers in Cheddar?
Yes, we are!
Q When are you open?
362 days of the year from 10am. We close on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day only.
We close at 4pm in the quieter winter months, open until 5pm during Easter School Holidays and the Summer months
Q Is your cheese suitable for Vegetarians?
Yes, it certainly is. We do not use animal Rennet. Also, we are the only traditional Cheddar producer not to use Lard on the coating of the truckles. Instead, we use a Veggiecoat. So Vegetarians may enjoy our cheese with a clear conscience!
Q What is cheese rind, and can I eat it?
Our cheese is unique! It is the only cheddar still made in Cheddar using unpasteurised milk from one local farm and hand made using traditional methods. We still bandage our cheese in muslin cloth and, our whole cheese truckles are matured in our stores for, in the case for some Vintage Cheddar, more than 2 years. The fact that our cheeses mature in muslin produces a rind. It is simply drier, harder cheese present on the outside of the truckle which develops as the cheese dries out during maturation. It is stronger in flavour and brownish in colour, unlike most cheddars sold in the UK.
It is precisely this process, the long, slow maturation in cloth, which produces the characteristic ‘traditional cheddar’ taste and consequential rind on the outside.
Some of our long-term customers love the fact that our cheese has a rind, which is rare to find these days. It can be eaten direct, grated into soups or on to toast for a strong traditional cheese taste. Again, some customers prefer not to eat it and so cut it off; it is safe to eat nevertheless.
Q Can we park easily in Cheddar?
During the quiet times (October to March) there is unrestricted parking on single yellow lines in Cheddar Gorge so you will have no difficulty parking then. During the other busy months you will need to use (and pay for) parking in Cheddar I'm afraid. We get so many visitors during these times but there are plenty of spaces within the lower sections of the gorge itself. Apart from Cheese, we have the incredible Cheddar Caves, award-winning traditional Tea Rooms and many independent shops & curiosities, not forgetting breathtaking walks.
Q Is there access for wheelchair users and pushchairs if we visit you?
Yes. We have a ramp entry into the Visitor Centre if you would like to come and watch us make cheese. From here you can easily access our shop which also has a wheelchair friendly entry/exit too.
Q I placed an order online, when will I receive it?
In the UK orders placed Sunday to Wednesday are usually delivered within 48 hours. Orders placed Thursday to Saturday will be delivered the following Tuesday. We prefer to avoid sending cheese out over the weekend to avoid inadvertent delays and possible cheese spoilage if ambient temperatures are high.
Outside the UK we despatch on Mondays each week and your delivery should be received by the end of the week.
Q Why is your cheese more expensive than my supermarket cheddar?
There are many reasons. Firstly we make our cheese in small batches, by hand. We buy in fresh milk, from one local farm and are very fussy about its quality (and pay a premium for this privilege). Secondly, we only make 6 to 8 cheese a day from one open vat. These need pressing and dressing in cotton bandage - all done by hand remember, and then we carry them (literally), very carefully, to our cheese maturing store.
That's just the first stage. There they sit, happily for up to 20 months while we scurry around them every day, ensuring their environment is perfect; clean, temperature and humidity carefully controlled, and in addition, we turn them regularly to refresh their position! While their flavour develops during the long maturation, they lose weight by evaporation (12% for one of our 'Mature' and up to 20% for our 'Vintage' cheddars.
We're not high-tech, we have no economies of scale and we use high-quality ingredients. We do this because the resultant small batch, hand-made, quality cheddar cheese is different. Very different. The taste is quite something!
We can't compete on price but we can compete on taste. If we couldn't, we'd be out of business!
Q How should I store my cheese?
Store our cheese, unopened, in its original packaging, in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. When that time comes, remove from the fridge and allow to temper at room temperature for an hour or so. Then remove from the packaging and enjoy!
If you don't eat it all, carefully re-wrap in greaseproof paper, good quality film or foil and place back into the fridge, ideally within an airtight container or salad drawer where the temperature is stable. It is essential that its tightly wrapped to prevent drying out - if well wrapped, our cheese will last for weeks!
Q Why has my truckle got mould on the surface? Can I still eat it?
Absolutely yes. All our truckles develop mould on the surface of the cloth. It is a sign that they are maturing well and are packed with flavour (unlike plastic matured cheddar). Your individual truckle is just the same as our larger cloth bound truckles in this respect. Simply peel back the cloth. The cheddar on the inside is tasty, delicious and ready to enjoy. It is perfectly safe to eat.
Q Your cheese is made with unpasteurised (raw) milk. Is it safe?
Not only is our cheese perfectly safe to eat there is much evidence to show that raw milk cheese is, in fact, healthier and tastier. Not long ago all milk was pasteurised. Pasteurising milk removes all bacteria. That prevents good gut bacteria from developing and removes the taste.
Raw milk cheese, made from grass fed cows, is a source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids. It is rich in probiotics, providing essential vitamins and minerals, benefiting a general healthy gut! Probiotics may also help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes and obesity, reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease and high cholesterol
The beneficial bacteria in raw milk cheese can contribute to a strong immune system and may help improve allergies. Raw milk is also considered beneficial to asthma and eczema sufferers. Raw milk cheese is tastier as natural bacteria in raw milk lend a great deal of flavour to the final product. Raw milk cheese contains natural flora, yeasts, and enzymes that contribute to complex and unique cheese flavours.