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With its lush meadows, Sussex is truly a cheese-making county. Here, we look at the cream of the county's cheeses made by award-winning High Weald Dairy located at Horsted Keynes, West Sussex.

High Weald Dairy is family owned and run by Guy, Mark and Sarah Hardy from their farm in the beautiful High Weald area of Sussex. Here, expert cheesemakers take locally sourced cow, sheep and goat milk to create a selection of prize-winning artisan cheeses.

All these Sussex cheeses are suitable for vegetarians as they are made with vegetarian rennet and, as pasteurised milk is used, they are fine for the young, the elderly and expectant mums.

Below is a quick round-up of the delicious cheeses made right here in Sussex by High Weald Dairy.

LITTLE SUSSEX - Organic soft sheep's milk cheese
Matured for 10 days, Little Sussex is a petite cheese, with a bloomy white coat.
Little Sussex has a delectable, gentle flavour and light texture when young, becoming more flavoursome as it ages.
GOLD - British Cheese Awards 2012
BRONZE - World Cheese Awards 2012

SUSSEX SLIPCOTE - Organic soft 100% sheep's milk cheese
Choose from Plain, Garlic & Herb, Basil, Peppercorn.
The name 'Slipcote' is an old English word meaning little (slip) piece of cottage (cote) cheese. It's a light, fresh cheese with a creamy texture and an hint of citrusy bite.
SILVER MEDAL Garlic & Herb, International Cheese Awards 2012
WINNER Organic Food Awards 2012 (Plain Sussex Slipcote).
SILVER MEDAL WINNER Garlic & Herb, International Cheese Awards 2011

DUDDLESWELL - Sheep's milk cheese.
Matured for five months, this full fat hard cheese has a lovely rich flavour with buttery notes. It boasts a smooth creamy texture and delicious nutty flavour.
Choose from Organic, Non Organic, Organic Oak Smoked, Non Organic Oak Smoked.
BRONZE – International Cheese Awards 2012
GOLD - International Cheese Awards 2011
SILVER - International Cheese Awards 2011

RICOTTA - 100% sheep's milk, organic cheese
Sheep's milk Ricotta from High Weald Dairy is superb and not at all watery as is often the case with mass-produced ricotta. Ricotta means "re-cooked" – it is made by reheating the whey after the initial cheese making process, producing a scrumptious fine curd. Creamy and white, Ricotta is a fresh, slightly sweet cheese and is pretty low in fat – it only contains around 5% - and is a really good cheese to use in recipes.

MEDITA - A Mediterranean-style sheep's milk cheese
Choose from organic and non-organic
You may know this type of cheese as 'Feta' - it has its origins in the Mediterranean and the experts at High Weald Dairy make the cheese in the traditional way using organic sheep milk before maturing it in brine. It is a semi soft crumbly cheese with a discrete, sharp flavour.

HALLOUMI - 100% sheep's milk
Choose from organic and non-organic
Halloumi is a salty, brined cheese traditionally from the Mediterranean. High Weald Halloumi is perfect for cooking and barbecuing as it is very firm before it is cooked (ideal for threading onto skewers) and, once grilled or fried it acquires a gloriously soft middle with a crusty exterior. Delicious! You may find imported versions of Halloumi in the shops – these are often made with mainly cow's milk with a mere dash of sheep's milk – remember, High Weald sheep's milk Halloumi is the real deal and made with 100% sheep's milk.

BRIGHTON BLUE – High Weald's new blue cow's milk cheese.
A new Sussex cheese with a slightly open, semi-soft texture, a gentle flavour and a touch of salt. The distinguishing blue green veins in the cheese deepen as Brighton Blue matures, and the taste of the blue becomes more pronounced.
BRONZE - International Cheese Awards 2013

SISTER SARAH – Goat's milk cheese

If you love goat's cheese but aren't keen on the strong flavour sometimes associated with it, Sister Sarah is the one for you! A mild, fresh-flavoured semi soft cheese made at High Weald Dairy using goat's milk. The cheese is very white as goats digest all the carotene in the grass. The milk is cooled immediately after milking and this results in a mild cheese, with a delicious flavour and without any "goatiness", which isn't to everyone's taste. It's great to use in salads and other recipes which call for goat's cheese, especially if you are serving to guests who you are not sure like a stronger goat's cheese. Coated in annatto (a south American berry), gives the cheese a cheerful bright orange rind.
GOLD - Best UK Goat Cheese, International Cheese Awards 2012.
GOLD - International Cheese Awards 2010

SAINT GILES - Semi soft cow's milk cheese.
Choose from Organic and Non Orgainc
Do you enjoy the French cheeses Port Salut and Saint Paulin? Well, ooh-la-la, welcome to Saint Giles which is an English equivalent to these continental favourites. Saint Giles, made with cow's milk, is a semi soft creamy cheese with a rich, buttery texture and a delightful edible orange rind.
SILVER - International Cheese Awards 2012
SILVER- x 2 World Cheese Awards 2012
SILVER - International Cheese Awards 2011

SUSSEX MARBLE - Semi soft cow's milk cheese
A continental style, semi soft creamy cheese derived from Saint Giles, infused with garlic and herbs. Delicious melted on steak or chicken and simply wonderful with fresh, crusty bread.

CHILLI MARBLE - Semi soft cow's milk cheese
A continental style, semi soft creamy cheese derived from Saint Giles, infused with hot and spicy chilli.

ASHDOWN FORESTERS - unpressed cow's milk cheese
Choose from Organic, Organic Oak Smoked
The wonderfully-named Ashdown Foresters is an un-pressed, medium-strength cheese. It has a fairly firm, slightly open texture and a sharp, buttery character and slight saltiness, but with savoury and lemon back notes. Ashdown Foresters cheese takes time to produce and is well worth the effort of the eight-hour production process followed by three months to mature. For the smoked version (below), add another 12 – 36 hours for the gentle smoking process.

For the smoked version of Ashdown Foresters, after the maturation period, the whole cheeses are gently oak-smoked at High Weald Dairy. Smoking takes around 12 to 36 hours, depending on the weather and wind direction. High Weald opts for a light smoke rather than a heavy smoke.
GOLD - World Cheese Awards 2012 (Ashdown Foresters Oak Smoked)
GOLD - International Chesse Awards 2011
GOLD - Organic Ashdown Foresters in the Modern British Class at the British Cheese Awards 2009

SUSSEX CHEDDAR - Hard cow's milk cheese
Choose from Organic and Non Organic
Sussex Cheddar (Tremains Organic) is made using the organic cows milk from High Weald Dairy's own farm. Matured for up to five months, it is golden yellow in colour, medium in strength and has a firm, but crumbly texture.
GOLD MEDAL WINNER at the British Cheese Awards 2008
GOLD MEDAL WINNER at the World Cheese Awards 2007

SOSTER - Bio Voglia organic cow's milk cheese
A hard cheese made with Italian organic cow's milk in the parmesan style.
As with all High Weald Dairy Cheeses, Soster is made with vegetable rennet so is suitable for vegetarians.

BROTHER MICHAEL – Organic, semi soft, rind washed cow's milk cheese.
This pungently aromatic cheese is created by washing a six-week matured Saint Giles cheese in brine and special cheese cultures several times a week for four weeks.
A pretty blushed orangey colour, Brother Michael has a soft and creamy texture but the flavour is not as strong as the aroma would imply.
Awards - Gold in the New Cheese Class at the British Cheese Awards 2009

Read more about High Weald Dairy organic farm, Horsted Keynes, West Sussex

Tags: High Weald Dairy Sussex Cheeses

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