‘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.
‘Bosworth Field’ is made with the raw milk from the dairy cows and is made in a small vat. The milk is heated gently and the curds are cut by hand and allowed to pitch for an hour, the curds are then placed in 5kg moulds and pressed gently over night and the following day placed in a brine bath. The cheese is then ripened for 2-3 months when the rind forms, sometimes taking on a gorgeous wrinkly appearance.
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.