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Mrs Kirkham's Tasty Lancashire

Graham KirkhamIt sounds straight out of Wallace and Gromit, and having tasted this delicious cheese I could almost hear Wallace singing out: "I'm crackers for cheeeese."

I swung by Mrs Kirkham's last week when I was on a whistle-stop trip to the North of England. It's a tiny dairy on a farm outside Goosnargh in Lancs, presided over by a very chirpy cheesemaker called Graham, the fifth generation of Kirkham. Out of a couple of barns and a steel bath, which pretty much describes this operation, Graham Kirkham, with the help of Fiona, his companion in curds, daily turns out roughly 12 to 15 10kg cheeses from the unpasteurised milk of his 75-strong Holstein Freisian herd ("There are no days off in cheesemaking," says Graham. "When the cows milk, there's cheese to be made".)

Mrs Kirkham's Tasty Lancashire cheeses maturing on the shelfMrs Kirkham's Tasty Lancashire is made to a very traditional recipe, blending three separate days' curds, salting, pressing, tightening and buttering by hand before sitting the 10kg truckles to mature for anything from six weeks to 12 months -- the longer the better. (The buttering is the trad bit -- Graham's great-grandma used to use full-fat, full-cream, salted butter to seal the cheeses until the 1950s when wax was introduced but, coming full circle, Graham has reverted to the 'old ways' and now brushes the truckles with the good stuff.)

The result is a sumptuous buttery, creamy -- almost fluffy -- cheese with a good lasting flavour that develops as you eat it. And if my word isn't good enough, it won a silver in its category at the 2005 British Cheese Awards last Friday.

If you're keen to try it (and you should be), you can find it on the cheese counter at Booth's supermarkets and Selfridges, or at cheese specialists Neal's Yard Dairy, Paxton & Whitfield, Jeroboams and Iain Mellis.


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Comments (2)

Dug Author Profile Page:

I know I'm partial, but in this case I've tasted the cheese and can vouch for its yumminess

marie swindlehurst:

this cheese is made by my cousin and her mum my aunty for years and is the tastiest cheese around


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