Six of the best cheeses from Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 09:31 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 13:18 24 October 2015
He's been warned but Tony Greenway can't resist more than a chunk of cheese, and who can blame him.
I had a cholesterol test a few weeks ago. When I rang my doctor to find out the results, she told me that, yes, they were in — and they were extremely high. ‘Excellent!’ I said. ‘Thanks very much!’ But apparently no; this was not excellent. This was, in fact, Not Good At All. In the world of cholesterol it turns out that ‘low’ is good and ‘high’ is bad. Which brings me to cheese.
I love cheese to the point of obsession. In fact, I hazard I like it more than Wallace does from Wallace and Gromit and, over the course of my life, I’ve tucked away an awful lot of it, which might explain why my cholesterol level is currently higher than our national debt.
Certainly cheese — lovely, innocent, gorgeous cheese — was one of the things that got a blasting from my GP on the day now referred to in my house as ‘Black Friday’. But, frankly, what good is low cholesterol if you can’t have a cracking bit of cheese now and again? If you’re living in Yorkshire (and we do), cracking cheese is everywhere, so it’s just too tempting to resist. If you have cholesterol issues but want to indulge in a cheese feast now and again, you might as well eat the best. And the best is what we have, right on our doorstep. So don’t miss out on these…
The Courtyard Dairy, Settle
Run by the ultra-knowledgeable Andy Swinscoe and his partner, Kathy, this is a shop featuring the best cheese from artisan producers. There’s a LOT on display, including the magnificent Dale End Cheddar, an unpasteurised cow’s milk cheddar made in a village on the North York Moors. ‘It’s probably our most popular cheese,’ says Kathy. It’s excellent, but we urge you to investigate the rest of their wares, too, because the Courtyard Dairy is cheese heaven.
Swaledale Cheese, Richmond
The early 1980s nearly saw the end of Swaledale Cheese — but it was rejuvenated by the late David and Mandy Reed. Now it’s their children, Louise and Sam, who are carrying on the family business. Cheeses include goat’s milk, Swaledale Blue, Richmond smoked and Swaledale chives and garlic cheese — but there are loads more besides. So what’s the most popular cheese Swaledale produces? ‘It’s funny,’ Louise says, ‘but it’s a seasonal thing. Right now it’s sheep’s cheese — Ewe milk cheese — which is great for spring.’
Cryer and Stott, Allerton Bywater, Castleford, Wakefield, Pontefract
Rather brilliantly, Cryer and Stott hit upon the idea of using rhubarb in one of their cheeses — what with Yorkshire being the site of the rhubarb triangle, and all. The result is the rather lovely, zesty and award-winning Ruby Gold, made from the milk of ewes.
Shepherd’s Purse, Thirsk
Here are two cheeses that are regulars in my fridge: Yorkshire Blue and Mrs Bell’s Blue from the fabulous Shepherd’s Purse. You might also try (if you haven’t already) their Yorkshire Fettle, which used to be called Yorkshire Feta, but famously had to change its name when it was decreed that ‘feta’ could only be produced in Greece. What’s in a name, though? It tastes fab. Look out, too, for Harrogate Blue, which was launched only last summer but is fast becoming one of SP’s most popular cheeses.
Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes
When is buying cheese a family day out? When you take a trip to the Wensleydale Creamery in the Yorkshire Dales and visit its museum dedicated to the history of Wensleydale cheese making. You can also stock up with such beauties as Oak-smoked Real Yorkshire Wensleydale, Real Yorkshire Wensleydale and Pineapple, and even Real Yorkshire Wensleydale and Ginger.
Yorkshire Dales Cheese Company, Northallerton
Getting hitched but don’t want to serve up boring old fruitcake to your guests? Then the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Company has developed a rather splendid idea, using rounds of tiered cheese to add a spectacular twist to your big day. Yorkshire cheeses are used to make your wedding ‘cake’ — but other out-of-county cheeses are available should you so desire them.