£19.95 – £134.50
The cheese’s flavours range from fresh and fruity to brothy and savoury, while the texture is firm and often slightly grainy, not dissimilar from a Manchego.
Berkswell is made by Julie Hay and the Fletcher family at Ram Hall Farm in the West Midlands, not far from Birmingham. Berkswell is a hard sheep’s cheese and is often compared to Manchego. Unlike Manchego, however, Berkswell is never put into a press during its make; its distinctive shape is the result of its being moulded in a kitchen colander.
The link to the farming has always been an important part of what makes Berkswell special, with Stephen Fletcher managing the herd of several hundred milking sheep. The first Berkswell cheeses were developed by Stephen’s mother Sheila in the late 1980s, and vaguely followed a Caerphilly recipe. Nowadays, cheesemaker Julie Hay is responsible for orchestrating the cheese side of the business. The appearance of the rind varies dramatically, with an array of beautifully-coloured moulds (from rusty copper to bright yellow) dotting the rind at different times of the year.
Milk: Raw Sheep’s Milk,
Coagulant: Animal Rennet
Whole, Half, Quarter, Eighth