I first heard of Mary Holbrook’s “Old Ford” via Kate at Culture who (lucky girl!!) got to tromp about the west country visiting some of the finest cheesemakers anywhere. So I was delighted to find it for sale locally this week.
As Kate notes in the journal of her visit to Sleight Farms, “…having originally trained as an archaeologist, Mary became one of the UK’s first goat cheese producers during the seventies and at a time when goat’s milk cheeses were a rarity in England.” Neal’s Yard, distributor calls it “…one of the best goat’s cheeses we’ve ever tasted.”
I agree- it’s an impressive and delicious cheese. It’s heavy clay texture and complex flavors lead you to savor, melt in your mouth, really get your nose in it like you might a hard sheep’s milk cheese. The edible rind… eat it, though it’s dusty, craggy exterior might put you off at first, it’s chewy and rich but still mellow. Mellow is the color as well, like parchment. The cheese crumbles readily. Delicious.
Cheese: Old Ford
Who: Sleight Farm
Where: Bath, Somerset, England
Milk Type: raw goat’s milk
Shape: small wheel
Tasting notes: tart and deeply intense, damp cave, goaty, citrus, floral, butter