‘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.
‘Sparkenhoe Blue’ is a cheese developed by William Clarke (son of Jo and David) on his return to join the family business in June 2017, The cheese is a traditional blue Leicestershire cheese made with the farm’s unpasteurised milk, it has a creamy texture and a lovely blue vein.
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.