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Montgomery Mature Cheddar

Montgomery’s Cheddar is one of the best and perhaps one of the most renowned artisan cheddars that money can buy. It adheres to a time honoured recipe and method of cheese making that sets a benchmark world wide. 

This really is a cheese that should feature on every cheeseboard, so distinguished is its taste.

Best accompanied by a Cheshire Chutney Co’s Fig and Honey chutney and served on a dry water biscuit which is lightly spread with some real farmhouse butter

£3.20

Quantity: 100g

Quantity: 100g

Ingredients: Cows Milk, Salt, Starter Culture, Rennet.

For allergens, please see ingredients.

Product Description

Montgomery’s Cheddar is one of the best and perhaps one of the most renowned artisan cheddars that money can buy. It adheres to a time honoured recipe and method of cheese making that sets a benchmark world wide. 

It remains as one of the last three traditional cheddars to be made in Somerset; along with Keens and Westcombe Cheddar. All three have been recognised by the Slow Food movement. Montgomery cheddar has also been granted PDO status, in 1996.  It is one of a small and exclusive list of British cheeses to be awarded this prestigious status.  

To be called a West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, the PDO states that the cheeses must:

Firstly, be made with milk from local herds and milked in the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon or Cornwall. This ensures that the cheese has a particular flavour and texture derived from the pastures and underlying minerals that leech upwards into the waterways and grasses.

Secondly, the finished cheese must not contain any colouring, flavouring or preservatives.

Thirdly, it must be made using traditional methods. These methods must include cutting the curds and whey by hand, laying them and turning the curds; this process is known as Cheddaring.

Finally, it must be matured on the farm.

As Montgomery’s Cheddar is made using only traditional methods it has won a multitude of awards, including; the Supreme Champion and Best Cheddar at the 2004 British Cheese Awards.  In 2009, it was a gold medal winner and later, in 2018, it won the Best Mature Cheddar in the World Cheese Awards.

James Montgomery’s link with cheese making goes back several generations to when his grandfather, Sir Archibald Langman took over Manor Farm, in North Cadbury, in the early 1900s. It is on that farm that the cheese making magic occurs and today James produces between 10 to 15 truckles of cheese a day. Each truckle weighs approximately 28kg and uses the raw unpasteurised milk from his heard of 200 Friesian cattle.  They graze on the lush Somerset pasture land that surrounds the farm.

To produce such a wonderful cheese a pint of starter culture is added to a mixture of the chilled evening milk and warm morning milk. Then the rennet (animal rennet), which is a natural enzyme, is added to allow the curds and whey to form. The whey, a by-product, is drained away and the curds are stacked one on top of the other, into blocks, within large cheese vats. The weight of which aids the drainage of the surplus moisture and is known as “Cheddaring” hence the name given to such a cheese. 

All this back breaking work is done by hand and involves repeatedly stacking and re-stacking the curds to expel the whey and produce the dense tight texture that a cheddar cheese should have.  

After being salted and milled by hand, using an old wooden peg mill, the curds are reduced to small, pea shaped pieces. They are then put into large cheddar molds and pressed for up to 36 hours before being hand larded and wrapped in cheese cloth.  The soft, white, wrapped curds are allowed to mature on wooden shelves for up to 24 months, sometimes even longer, during which time each cheese is turned.  That turning prevents any remaining moisture from sinking to the bottom of the cheese, thus maintaining uniformity in moisture levels and a consistent texture throughout the cheese.  

The larded cheese-cloth encourages a gradual loss of moisture and prevents the cheese from drying out totally whilst at the same time producing its rich and creamy texture.  The more mature the cheese the dryer the cheese becomes and, normally, the texture becomes flaky and slightly grainy. 

The rinds’ natural molds develop over time. That rind not only protects the cheese from unwanted bacteria but it also influences the taste of the cheese; it slowly releases flavour that can be likened to a sweet and nutty rich taste. 

Although the milk is unpasteurised it is still suitable for pregnant woman to eat, according to the NHS guidelines, but as it uses animal rennet it is not suitable for Vegetarians.

This really is a cheese that should feature on every cheeseboard, so distinguished is its taste.

Best accompanied by a Cheshire Chutney Co’s Fig and Honey chutney and served on a dry water biscuit which is lightly spread with some real farmhouse butter.

Michelin starred chef, Adam Byatt at his Trinity restaurant in London says; “One of my favourite hard English cheeses is Montgomery’s, an incredible example of traditional, handmade, unpasteurised cheddar’”

Whilst at the Ivy Restaurant, London, it appears as the main ingredient in their classic recipe; Twice Baked Montgomery Cheddar Souffle.

Montgomery Cheddar is best at room temperature. Remove from the fridge when you open your bottle of wine; thus allowing the temperature of the cheese to slowly rise.

When you have finished. resist the temptation to wrap the cheese in cling film or place in an air tight container.  Cheese needs to breathe or it will sweat.  So rewrap in the wax paper your cheese monger used and place it in the crisper draw of your fridge.  Cheese stored like this will keep for up to 14 days from the date it was cut by your cheesemonger.  If some white blooming appears, it is totally natural, don’t be concerned, just remove it and enjoy the remainder of your Montgomery Cheddar.