It’s now possible to have a seriously good cheeseboard using Hampshire and Sussex cheese makers. Not only is the quality outstanding, but the variety is also so diverse that you can have 6 or more cheeses on the board with completely different styles, tastes and textures.
We have been raving about Tunworth Cheese and Isle of Wight Blue since we opened our shop in 2012. They are still world beaters, winning awards regularly. I particularly enjoy seeing French and Italian customers taking them back home with them. On the blue cheese front, you could try Barkham Blue which has a rich blue taste, smooth buttery texture with a melt in the mouth flavour, without the harshness associated with some blue cheese. We sell it by the slice so you can have as much or as little as you like. Brighton Blue is another alternative from the High Weald Dairy and has also won numerous awards including a Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards 2017-2018. Our most local blue is Molecomb Blue from Goodwood, that uses their own organic cows milk.
We are really enjoying our newest cheese arrival, Beau Farm Goats Cheese, with a choice of mature Gouda, brie and soft cheeses available. Another excellent Goat’s Cheese is Golden Cross that has just won Gold at the British Cheese Awards and has been a regular staple in the counter.
Then there are a couple of excellent alternative cheeses, such as Stoney Cross (creamy, buttery in texture, sweet flavours, with a distinctly earthy finish.) and Scrumpy Sussex (a hard un-rinded buttery rich cheddar type cheese with garlic, cider and herbs), while Smoked Mayfield offers another great taste and texture on the board.
On the cheddar front, I would head towards Goodwood’s Charlton – an excellent cloth bound mature cheddar. Here’s a lovely article on Goodwood Cheese…. Another alternative is Lyburn’s Old Winchester, a dryer, harder cheese, becoming more reminiscent of an Old Amsterdam with a distinctive nuttiness in flavour.
If that’s not enough for you, then I will finish with a Burwash Rose – a truly delicious, bouncy and properly smelly soft cheese that has it’s origins with the monks and is rind washed in rose water.
Of course, we do stock the Stiltons, cheddars and other great cheeses of the UK and can get pretty much any continental cheese on order, but when you have such a great local selection on offer, then plump for them. Come along to the deli counter and have a taste if you need help making up your mind.