As part of our month-long celebration of Scottish cheese, I wanted to highlight my favourite quintessential Scottish Cheddar, Isle of Mull Cheddar.
It is crumbly, sharp and tangy and made from raw cows' milk on Sgriob Ruadh farm on the Island of Mull. It is matured for at least a year to develop its intensity, and occasionally you might find a slight blue vein on the cheddar, which just adds to the flavour.
The history of the Isle of Mull cheese dates back to 1979, when husband and wife team, Jeff & Christine Reade moved with their family and ten cows to the island from their farm in Somerset. When they bought the farm, their first task was to roof the cow shed so the animals would be warm, as the buildings were completely ruined. Growing the family business has been a labour of love. Initially they produced milk and later became fine cheesemakers. Today, the whole operation is overseen by their son Brendan and his family.
Until recently you could stay on the farm in self-catering cottages, so it should come as no surprise that I could not resist holidaying there in 2020. I stayed in the aptly named Cheese Cottage with my family. Early in the morning, if you listened very carefully, you could faintly hear the contented noises from happy cows being milked (during nights their mooing somehow got a bit louder!). Although you can no longer stay on the farm, tourists can still visit their cafe and shop called The Glass Barn. If you arrive at just the right time you can even look through special windows to view the cheesemaking process.
Their winter cheddar they make is whiter in appearance than those made earlier in the year, due to the change in the cow's diet. The lucky herd's diet is supplemented with draff (used whisky grain), a by-product from the local Tobermory Distillery (my of my favourite single malts, by the way!).
This cheese is featured in our Great British Selection and is wonderful when complemented by craft ales, medium-bodied red wines and of course single malt whiskies.
The Cheese Lady x
P.S. For Christmas 2022, we’re releasing an extra special version of Isle of Mull cheddar, which has been matured in our own maturation room. This limited-edition Mull Cheddar (two truckles only) will be 3 years old at Christmas 2022! Make sure to pre-order some HERE.