‘Sparkenhoe cheese’ is made by David and Jo Clarke in a totally authentic way using the farm’s unpasteurised milk. The milk from the previous day’s milking is pumped across from the parlour to the cheese room at 4 am. An old recipe discovered by Jo and David is then followed traditionally. The curds and whey are then scalded gently and separated. The curds are cut into blocks and turned to release further whey. They are then put through the mill and salt is added. The cheese is put into moulds and pressed for 24 hours, turned and pressed for a further 24 hours. The cheeses are bound in cloth and lard and matured for 6 months to improve their taste and quality. The cheeses are a traditional shape being made in large wheels of 10kgs and 20kgs.
‘Battlefield Blue’ is an unpasteurised cheese made in a small vat. The milk is heated and a blue mould added. Once the cheese is made it is pierced to allow the veins to develop through the cheese. The cheeses are ripened in high humidity and a wonderful green, grey rind forms.
It takes a lot of patience, effort and great attention to detail to make the cheeses and the farm employs 5 local people to help in this who all work as a team to produce the wonderful cheeses.