Neal’s Yard is a renovated train yard in London, wherein cheeses made throughout the U.K. are brought to their peak and then sold or exported. To bring a cheese to its peak it undergoes a process called “affinuering”. In laymen’s terms affinuering is when cheeses are taken from the cheesemaker and aged in a controlled environment. This process includes methods of brining, turning, patting and brushing the wheel of cheese. It’s kind of like imagining the cheesemaker as the parent, giving birth to the cheese, and the affinuer being a Maria Von Trapp-like figure, aiming to raise the cheese to its fullest potential, while still retaining personality. And in London the hills are alive with the smell of cheesemaking.
When it comes to purchasing cheeses from overseas, Neal’s Yard Dairy is whom I’ve found to be the most reliable and most fun to talk with. Their care and love of the cheeses they age and export is easily translated after having a bite of their glorious selections. We changed things up a bit for the winter we’ll be carrying our mainstay, Keen’s Cheddar, along with 2 new ones Coolea and Wensleydale the preferred cheese of Wallace and Gromit. This past week we had the good fortune of scoring one more wheel of Stilton, which will be our last for a while.
Also be sure to stop in this Saturday from 1-4 for our winter beer and cheese pairing.
Made in the traditional clothbound manner and aged for one year by the Keen family near Somerset, England. Smooth & buttery texture with notes of grass, horseradish and earth. Best paired with bold reds or ales.
Made by a Dutch family residing in Cork, Ireland, this Gouda-style cheese is almost TOO easy to eat. Nutty flavor with notes of butterscotch & bourbon with a creamy, toothy texture. Best paired with a huge cabernet.
Clothbound and aged from 1-4 months in Hawes, North Yorkshire. Surprisingly light & herbaceous, with a satisfying buttermilk tang. If you’re feeling particularly English, have this as a breakfast cheese. Pair with Beaujolais Cru or Pilsners (but probably not if you’re having it for breakfast).