The texture of this Lancashire is moist and very crumbly, while the flavour is mild, flowery and buttery. The Kirkhams have been making cheese on their Lower Beesley farm for three generations. Harking back to a time when farms would not have produced enough milk to make cheeses large enough to age well, curds made over three days are combined for each batch. Similarly, very little starter culture is used and so the acidity builds slowly – creating a mellow and complex cheese. What’s more they milk twice a day, and combine the previous days cold milk with the warm morning milk before making the curds – which helps to build up that slow souring process. By adjusting how much of each days curd is used Graham Kirkham is able to control the acidity of the cheese and react to the changing milk. The Kirkhams are the only Lancashire producers to continue the tradition of buttering the outside of the cheeses once they have been bound in cloth. This ensures the cheese remains moist, while at the same time allowing it to breathe as it matures.
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