EXPERIMENTING FOR THE FUTURE
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