Westcombe Cheddar & Westcombe Cheddar Hand Selected


County: Somerset

Cheese-Maker: Tom Calver

Farm: Lower Westcombe

Farm Style: Hard

Milk: U, Cow

Age: 12 months +, 14 months +

Allergens: Milk


Cheese has been made at Westcombe since the 1890s and they now remain as one of the last three traditional producers of Somerset Cheddar. They have the status of PDO but the Calvers are one of the last three families, along with Jamie Montgomery and the Keens to make traditional Artisan Somerset Cheddar. The criteria for this is much stricter than that for West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, and includes using raw milk from their own herd, pint starters rather than the more widely used powdered versions, and animal rennet. The cheese must never be made in a block form, and must be cloth-bound before being matured for at least one year. The Calver family farm two farms with 400 cows and make unpasteurised Cheddar daily, using methods passed down over many generations.  Tom Calver is the most recent generation working in the dairy. Under his guidance the cheese has gone from strength to strength as he has adjusted the recipe and refined the maturing. At the same time his father, Richard, has worked on improving the quality of the cows feed to get a better fat and protein content.

Tom Calver, hand selects Cheddar from Westcombe Dairy. Under his watchful eye, the chosen cheeses are then matured for longer to allow a deeper, fuller flavour to develop. Only those cheeses that have the perfect flavour profile are selected to be matured on. This Cheddar has a wonderfully full and savoury flavour with a slight tang.

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