Mrs Kirkhams Smoked Lancashire
Made originally by Ruth Kirkham in 1978 and now by her son Graham on the family farm in Goosnargh Lancashire. Mrs Kirkham’s Smoked Lancashire is an exceptional semi-hard cheese which is both tangy in flavour and creamy in texture. Slowly cold smoked over wild hickory branches, the cheese’s inviting aroma begs for a glass of refreshing craft beer
Ingredients: Milk (Cow, Goat, Buffalo or Ewe’s Milk), Salt, Starter Culture, Rennet.
For allergens, please see ingredients.
The Kirkham family who farm in Goosnargh, Lancashire, make this cheese by taking their traditional, crumbly cheese and smoking it gently over oak. The result is a beautiful tasting cheese with just the right mix of cheese versus smoke.
Kirkhams Smoked Lancashire is the last traditionally made unpasteurised Lancashire cheese still being produced in the UK. The base for this smoked cheese is their own two to three month old Creamy Lancashire made on the family farm in Goosnargh, Lancashire. The Kirkhams then slowly smoke the cheese over wild hickory and oak branches which creates a cheese with a rich, tangy, smoky flavour which is still creamy yet crumbly in texture.
The Kirkham family have been making cheese on their farm in the heart of Lancashire for three generations. Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese is traditionally made using the curd from two or three days of milking. This is due to the milk coming from the farm’s own herd which wouldn’t have produced enough milk in one day to make cheese.
Today, Graham Kirkham still follows this exact same method as it makes his cheese as unique as it always has been. Lancashire cheeses are generally labelled as being either Creamy or Tasty. Creamy cheeses are matured for between one to three months, whereas Tasty cheeses are matured for three months to a year.
It is thought that the first smoked cheese was discovered by accident. Probably the cheese was kept too close to a fire but it was soon discovered that it didn’t harm the cheese. This then led to cheeses being smoked to help preserve them. Nowadays we smoke cheeses because they taste amazing!
Many smoked cheeses are artificially smoked, meaning that the cheese has a smoke flavouring added to it, however, Kirkhams Smoked Lancashire is smoked using the cold smoke process. Cold smoking means that the smoke is generated in one area whilst the cheese is in another unheated area. The smoked is then pumped into the area where the cheese is kept. Cheeses are generally smoked over oak, applewood, hickory or beech chips. These all impart a different, but fabulous flavour.
Mrs Kirkhams Smoked Lancashire is made with raw unpasteurised milk and animal rennet making it unsuitable for vegetarians. It is however considered safe for pregnant women to eat.
For best results remove from the fridge no more than 60 minutes before the eating.