Do you offer free delivery?
Most companies offering 'free' delivery merely include their delivery costs in their prices. We prefer to be fully transparent and make sure you get exactly what you pay for. As we have a number of pick-up and delivery options, it also means we can keep our website and pricing clear and concise. For full information on our delivery options and costs please visit the Ordering & Delivery Page
How long will my cheese last?
As a general rule of thumb, we recommend eating your cut pieces within 7-10 days depending on cheese type and size, to enjoy them at their best. After this point they will usually still be fine to eat, but modern fridges tend to dry smaller pieces. We include a 'Cheese Care' card with your order and you can view more hints here. Individual cheeses with specific 'use by' or 'best before' dates will be clearly marked.
How much cheese do you recommend per person?
Our cheeses are made slowly, and packed full of flavour - this means they're often more 'satisfying' than cheeses you would get from a supermarket, so you'll need slightly less. We'd recommend 80-100g cheese per person for an after dinner cheese board, or about 150g per person if cheese is going to be the focus of the meal.
Are cheese rinds edible?
The answer is usually yes, and we will always let you know if a rind is not edible. We have a few cheeses on the counter that use a hard wax or coating to seal the cheese for it's maturation (Coolea, Lincolnshire Poacher, Berkswewll, Cornish Kern) which are not edible, and a couple of others that due to age are not very palletable, tasting or texture wise. The rind is hugely important both in preserving the cheese, and allowing flavour to develop - we never cut rinds off! We thoroughly recommend digging in & trying them - as with the cheeses themselves, you'll find some you love, and others you're not so keen on, but they can often bring a new depth and texture that compliments the paste. As with parmesan rinds, they can also be a brilliant addition to soups and stews, as a seasoning and thickener. Ask us for more advice.
How sustainable is your cheese?
Our cheeses are among some of the most sustainably and ethically produced on the planet - a bold statement, but its a true passion of ours. Worldwide, dairy has a huge environmental impact, but not all cheese is created equal - mass production is the biggest culprit, and we only work with non-industrial farms and small producers that care about their natural environment as much as we do. This means small grass fed herds, low impact traditional farming, and cheeses that are handmade slowly, with care. Several of our cheesemakers have won awards for their sustainability, and are entirely self-sufficient, zero-carbon, or working with regenerative agriculture - check out Lincolnshire Poacher, Fen Farm, The Earth Trust Farm and Westcombe Dairy. For more information on our ongoing sustainability journey, see Our Environment page, or get in touch.
How sustainable is your packaging?
We work hard to reduce the amount of packaging wherever we can and strive to buy all our in house packaging from sustainable sources, ensuring it is fully re-usable and/or recyclable. We wrap our cheese in a natural wax paper, our bags and boxes are made from recycled brown paper, and our deli-pots are compostable corn-starch or sugar-cane bagasse. We also have a deposit/return scheme for our Sheep's Yoghurt, and offer a zero-packaging option for our organic Milk. If you order a courier delivery, it will arrive in a recycled plastic protective outer - this can be recycled with other plastic bags at most supermarkets. For more info on our ongoing sustainability journey, see Our Environment page.
Do you have cheese suitable for Pregnancy?
Yes, we have a number of cheeses that are suitable for eating during pregnancy. Medical advice and opinion can be conflicting - for instance the NHS has changed it's recommendations 3 times in the same number of years - so each of our mongers will be happy to talk through what we know as specialists in the field, and make recommendations based on your preferences. We also have a more detailed factsheet including a list of 'double-safe' cheese recommendations here.
Do you sell cheese suitable for allergies/intolerances?
Please always ensure that you follow the individual medical advice you have been given. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please inform us and we will be happy to make recommendations. All our cheeses are free from additives, chemicals and preservatives and are gluten and nut free, but as we have products in the shop that contain wheat, nuts and seeds we cannot guarantee there will not be traces of these in our environment. For those with Lactose Intolerance, cheeses that are aged 12 months or more are generally considered to be naturally Lactose free as the Lactose breaks down to Lactic Acid - we have a number of aged cheeses we can recommend. Contrary to popular belief, Goats and Sheep Cheese does have similar levels of lactose, but due to it containing a different type of beta-casein (milk/ whey) protein (A1), many people find dairy products made from these much easier to digest than cows milk products. Please ask us for more information.
What's the difference between Traditional and Vegetarian Rennet?
Rennet is the coagulant used in cheese, the catalyst to change liquid milk into separated curds & whey.
Traditional Rennet is an animal product (from Calf, Lamb, or Kid). Vegetarian 'Rennet' is derived from two forms - Microbial, from cultivated mold cultures, and Vegetable, usually from Cardoon Thistle or Nettle.
Different 'rennets' create different flavour tones and textures. Many of our cheesemakers opt for traditional rennet as they feel it is a gentler curdling process, and gives the cheese a more complex flavour, particularly if they are making a matured cheese; Vegetarian coagulants often create more astringent tones, which become more pronounced with age imparting slight bitterness. For this reason Vegetarian coagulant is most often used in cheeses that will age for less than 6 months.
The rennet is part of the cheesemakers alchemy, taking the same basic ingredients and creating a unique cheese.
Do you sell Vegan cheese?
Not at them moment. We have genuinely tried to find a non-dairy alternative that matches the quality and standards of all our other cheeses (non-industrial, made sustainably from single source, natural ingredients, and great tasting!)
Each of our cheeses is made from 3 ingredients - Milk, Rennet, Salt and receives only processing through gentle heat, and hand cutting and pressing the curds.
Conversely, at this time most Vegan 'cheeses' are mass produced, highly processed, and contain a long list of ingredients and additives, including Coconut, Cashew or Palm oil, that have to travel vast distances and are in the spotlight as mono-crops that damage natural bio-diversity.
We're following a couple of makers experimenting with home grown and locally produced Oat Milk, so we'll keep you posted!
We care greatly about sustainability - so please check out Our Environment page to see more about our practices. For any more information, contact our sustainability lead Dan W.
What is Raw Milk?
Raw milk is milk in its fresh, natural form. It hasn't been heat treated meaning that the beneficial Vitamins, Minerals and natural cultures are unaffected.
Many cheesemakers, and lovers of eating cheese, believe that Cheese made with raw milk has a richer, more complex flavour, as the microbes and cultures that develop are present naturally, rather than being introduced after sterilisation.
Raw milk production is governed by incredibly high health & hygiene standards, and most raw milk Cheesemakers use their own milk, ensuring total quality control and traceability.
Raw milk cheeses are suitable for most people but if you have particular dietary requirements, are pregnant, or immunocompromised, please consult us or have a look at our factsheet.
Why is seasonality important in Cheese?
Seasonaility is really important to the way we work, and people are often surprised when we mention that cheese changes throughout the seasons.
Our cheeses are directly connected to the land they come from - therefor as the seasons change, the pastures and plants the Cows, Sheep & Goats graze on also change, and so does their milk. This means we get wonderful seasonal variances, and many makers shift between making soft or hard cheeses, depending on the richness of the milk.
We also work with the natural milking seasons - for Sheep & Goats this is traditionally from March to September, so you will notice some of our cheeses are only available in this period. (some commercial producers keep milking all year round - we favour shorter seasons that work in harmony with the animals)
Seasonality gives us different products and flavours throughout the year - we're always tasting and making sure we have the best the season can offer on the counter. Ask us for more details!
What is the difference between Farmhouse and Artisan Cheese?
There are several ways of defining these hand made products.
For us, a Farmhouse cheese is made on the farm or in the dairy using the milk from cheesemakers own herd - basically, the way most cheeses would have been made traditionally for centuries past.
Our definition of Artisan cheese, is one that is hand made by a skilled dedicated cheesemaker, who is not necessarily on a farm, or using their own milk, but bringing it in from a high-quality single source.