Derbyshire Life - - Food & Drink -

While the cou­ple are well versed in the pro­duc­tion process, they also have plans to ex­pand. ‘We are tri­alling some harder St Nec­taire style cheese for the Christ­mas sea­son this year and are also ex­per­i­ment­ing with wash­ing the sur­faces of the Stan­age Mill­stone cheeses to get a dif­fer­ent com­plex­ity of flavour,’ says So­phie. ‘We make a fresh curd cheese which is very ver­sa­tile for eat­ing on a cheese­board as well as cook­ing both sweet and savoury items. It can be used as a sub­sti­tute in many recipes which call for cream, crème fraiche, ri­cotta, and it makes a very light quiche,’ she adds.

The cou­ple, though, have both feet still firmly planted on the scrubbed floors of the cream­ery. ‘We’ve only been go­ing a cou­ple of years and we’ve still got a lot to learn,’ ar­gues James. ‘There are so many vari­ables in each batch, and the milk changes through the year de­pend­ing on lac­ta­tion, diet, weather etc. You think you have cracked it and make a bril­liant batch of cheeses, so you repli­cate the process ex­actly and can get a dif­fer­ent re­sult.

Even cheese­mak­ers of 30 years can tell a sim­i­lar story,’ says So­phie. The sto­ries are plen­ti­ful with the cou­ple re­flect­ing on meet­ings with fel­low cheese­mak­ers across the UK. From Gil­lian, who has a hand­ful of

Ex­cel­lent with crack­ers or in sweet and savoury recipes

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