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Anne Hastings’ St. James Cheese

Anne Hastings is making St. James cheese again at Holker farm. You can find them at Neal’s Yard in London and Cartmel’s in Cumbria


Here’s an excerpt from Anne’s blog at Culture


Anyone following Martin Gott (@martindongotty) on Twitter will have read that this week they started making St James cheese again and tomorrow, I will be making it again myself. It will be an interesting and challenging day in equal measures balancing the sheeps milk make and the cows milk make. After finishing with sheeps milk in November, I wonder how it will be using it again and how used I will have become to the cows milk texture when it sets. Will I cut the sheeps curd too soon? Will I drain it with enough pressure?

The time, therefore, has come to introduce St James properly. On my first post, Brother David, meet Sister Mary, I explained the story behind its name (an affectionate homage to a former cheese affineur James Aldridge) St James is a square shaped washed rind cheese weighing approximately between 1.5 & 1.8 kilos. In order to make it, the sheeps milk is pumped through the wall into the dairy from the milking parlour and into a 70 litre hemisphere vat and when there is excess, a 65 litre curdling tub (which can fill up to about 45-50 litres full). At this time of the year I anticipate just the hemisphere vat being used but I’ll find that out tomorrow. I should point out at this stage that I’ve quoted temperatures in Celsius because being European, that’s what we’re using. A conversion guide can be found here.




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