The 14th of February is a day to celebrate love, so I wanted to devote this blog post to love... My love of ewe's milk cheeses!
Below are my top four ewe’s milk cheeses at the moment. They are all made from sheep’s milk, a rich source of vitamins B6 and B12, iron, zinc and essential amino acids. It has high levels of protein and fat, but much less saturated fat than other kinds of milk, so it makes a really healthy choice. Ewe’s milk is also easy to digest so works as a good alternative to cow’s milk.
It is also believed to have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and when in the hands of incredible artisan cheesemakers it creates some truly delectable and complex cheeses.
Here are some absolute must-haves:
Wigmore is an award-winning English brie-style cheese, that was created by Anne and Andy Wigmore in Berkshire. They were inspired by the Sardinian ewe's milk cheeses they had tasted on holiday in Italy. Wigmore has a lovely bloomy edible rind, a rich creamy paste and an elegant savoury flavour underpinned by gentle mushroomy notes. It is made from thermised (gently pasteurised) milk and it is suitable for vegetarians. I would recommend rosé or light-bodied red wines to pair with it.
Pecorino al Tartufo is a luxurious artisan Italian pecorino enriched with truffles from sunny Tuscany. It is made from raw milk of Sardinian sheep, a breed noted for its amazing milk quality. The sheep are grazed on pasture from spring until autumn and are fed high-quality hay during the winter. Pecorino al Tartufo has a distinct flavour and aroma and the truffle provides deep earthy and mushroom notes. It accompanies medium-bodied red wines brilliantly.
Corra Linn is one of the most sought-after Scottish farmhouse cheeses, made by Selina Cairns on her family farm in Lanarkshire. It is a cheddar-style cheese with a firm texture made from raw Lacaune sheep's milk which is matured for a minimum of 12 months to develop a real depth to its flavour and aroma. Corra Linn is crumbly in texture with pleasant nutty lingering notes and light earthy and lanolin-y afternotes. It is best enjoyed with medium-bodied red wines, craft ale, and single malt whiskies.
Roquefort PDO is a cheese made by the smallest of seven Roquefort producers, called Le Vieux Berger. They create a truly authentic artisan cheese with a strong flavour, texture and aroma. Roquefort, has had an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status since 1925. To qualify it has to be made from raw Lacaune ewe's milk, which is then aged in the natural caves of Mount Combalou. To me, the Le Vieux Berger Roquefort is the finest with a well-balanced rich flavour which tastes spicy and nutty. The paste has deep pockets of blue mould and it is rich and silky smooth on the palate. It is made using traditional rennet and pairs well with a white-grape-based dessert wine, like Sauternes and Monbazillac.
If you love ewe as much as I do, be sure to treat your special loved one to some of the best examples of artisan ewe’s milk cheese this Valentine’s Day!
The Cheese Lady x
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