Belton Farm Caerphilly Cheese This Caerphilly cheese is made to a traditional bespoke recipe that gives the cheese its distinctive characteristics. Our Caerphilly is crumbly, delicate and moist with a milky flavour.
Caerphilly is a hard, crumbly white cheese that originated in the area around the town of Caerphilly, Wales. It is thought to have been created to provide food for the local coal miners. The Caerphilly of that period had a greater moisture content and was made in local farms. At the start of the 20th century, competition for milk in the local area saw production decline, and Caerphilly production was gradually relocated to England. The recipe for Caerphilly has been inspired by other crumbly cheeses like Cheshire, Lancashire and Wensleydale. However, it is said that the cheese was specially made for coal-miners as its tough texture and shallow height made it easy for them to eat with bare hands. Likewise, the salty, moist curd helped to replenish the lost minerals.
Production of Caerphilly Cheese
Caerphilly is made from unpasteurised cows’ milk and matured anywhere from 8 to 10 to 14 days. Some variants are often kept for up to a year to develop a harder texture and stronger taste. Inside the pale ivory rind of the cheese, young Caerphilly has a fresh and pleasant taste alongside a moist yet supple texture. With maturity, the edges become creamy and the flavour becomes more rounded. It usually has a wheel-shape with ivory-white rind dusted with fine flour. As the cheese ages in a moist cellar, the white and grey moulds become thicker and more leathery.
It is normally grated or melted onto dishes or served on a plain cracker so as to not overpower the taste. It’s great with grapes or apples or in a simple sandwich or salad. In addition, a basic white burgundy or similar dry white would go well with this cheese or pair with a Chenin Blanc, a red Bordeaux or a wheat beer for a winning combination of tastes.
History of Caerphilly cheese
Caerphilly cheese was originally a moist curd, made in local farms. It has since been replaced with a much drier version produced on an industrial scale. However, there still remain some cheesemakers producing Caerphilly in the old style on an artisan basis. The cheese was originally made to feed the coal miners of the area. It has subsequently been suggested that the salt content of the cheese was required by manual workers, and it can be cut into wedges and does not dry out in the conditions underground. Caerphilly became a centre for cheese production, but over time competing demands for the milk required resulted in the production of the cheese moving to England at the start of the 20th century.
Farmhouse Caerphilly production died out during World War II. This is because it did not keep as well as Cheddar from English factories for the war effort. After the war, those factories started making their own versions of Caerphilly, which matured quickly and therefore required less financing. Over time, the public forgot the difference between the old and new Caerphilly cheeses. The majority of mass-produced Caerphilly cheese is now produced in the English counties of Shropshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.
International Cheese Awards 2019 – Gold & Silver Award Winner
British Cheese Awards – Bronze Award Winner