Berkswell cheese is a sheep’s milk cheese hand made at Ram Hall Farm, situated on the edge of Berkswell village, close to Coventry in England providing its name. It is one of the finest ewe’s milk cheeses produced in the UK today. The Ram Hall range of ewes’ milk cheeses forms part of the growing number of speciality cheeses made by British artisan cheesemakers. As a result, the popularity of farmhouse cheese has consequently risen rapidly. Berkswell is at the forefront of the revival.
Unpasteurised ewes’ milk is used while preparing this cheese with a traditional method. The moulds of cheeses are left in plastic kitchen colanders which give the cheese its typical shape. Made in small vats, Berkswell cheese is left for maturation at least for 6 months.
The cheese has a natural rind that is slightly chewy and rusty brown-red in colour. The texture is firm and dense and slightly granular with an interior paste the colour of pale butter. Flavours are concentrated, sweet and therefore very complex, with tremendous length and finish. There are often notes of pineapple and caramel overlaid with a balanced tang. Berkswell Cheese uses only the milk from their own flock of Friesland sheep. Berkswell’s taste profile features deep enduring flavours due to the maturation process. This is longer than many of its contemporaries and also results in the characteristic biscuit colour of the rind.
History of Berkswell Cheese
Berkswell sheep’s milk cheese is hand made at 16th Century Ram Hall, situated on the edge of Berkswell village. Berkswell is located 5 miles west of Coventry in the heart of England. In 1989 sheep milking began at Ram Hall with a flock of or East Friesian and Poll Dorset ewes, which has now grown to 900. Ram Hall is part of the Berkswell Estate and is now home to the 6th generation of the Fletcher family to farm the land here since 1881. Stephen Fletcher currently manages the farm with his son George and father Peter.