A Gastro Nick’s Christmas Special – a whole cheddar (clothbound) for the cheeseboard.
Cave Aged Cheddars start life at the Dairy in Dorset where they are made using milk from local herds that graze the lush pastures of the Ashley Chase Estate and its environs.
The ‘Cheddaring’ process (the turning of the curds) is performed entirely by hand, as is the salting of the curds, the pressing of the cheese, and the bandaging in cheese cloth. As a guarantee of authenticity and origin, the Cheddar has been awarded the world renowned Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) accreditation.
Only cheddars made from locally sourced milk to traditional methods in cheddar-making country can be bestowed with this prestigious accolade in order to protect their authenticity and geographical location.
The cheddars are carried by hand two hundred feet underground into the Wookey Hole Caves in the Mendip Hills where they are left to mature. The constant temperature and humidity of the Caves offers ideal conditions for storing and ageing cheddar and the porous nature of the cheese enables it to take on the distinctive earthy and nutty flavours from the atmosphere.
The texture is firm and the cheese is cream-coloured. The aroma is a complex mix of sweet, creamy and earthy. The flavours are big, robust and well rounded, with competing notes such as sweet and salty, or earthy and tangy. The Caves’ atmosphere bestows the cheddar with an additional, highly-distinctive, earthy and nutty flavour.
The robust, sweet and nutty nuances of Wookey Hole Cave aged Cheddar is perfectly complemented by full-bodied red wines with a strong flavour. Try a Valpolicella Ripasso or Duo, a clever blend of Cabernet Franc and Corvina, both from the Veneto region.
Not suitable for vegetarians
A limited number of boxed 1.8 kg cheeses also available