High Weald Dairy is one of West Sussex’s finest food producers, creating an extraordinary range of organic sheep, goat and cow’s milk cheeses that range from soft to hard, blue to smoked.  A family-run business, started by husband and wife team Mark and Sarah in 1988 to deal with the milk from Mark’s parents Friesland sheep, High Weald Dairy now produce 150 tonnes of award-winning cheese per year.

They started making 100% sheep milk Halloumi – originally supplied to the North London Cypriot community, Medita – a version of Greek feta cheese, hard mature Duddleswell and Sussex Slipcote soft cheeses.  They now take delivery of organic raw milk and make the cheese from pasteurization to maturation on the farm. With a biomass boiler fuelled by the farm’s coppiced woodland, their own 30kw solar farm and organic milk, High Weald Dairy is a superb example of a thriving sustainable business.

Sheep and goats cheese are particularly good if you find cow’s milk cheese hard to digest.   Sheep milk is higher in both fat and protein than cow or goat milk. This gives it a sweeter taste. It is also higher in calcium, zinc and B vitamins.  The excellent grassland in Britain is ideal for sheep and they live outside most of the year.

We’ve always stocked a number of their cheeses, but it’s time you found out about and tasted more of them.  Tom will have a taster board this weekend at the Cheese Counter with the following cheeses:

Sheep’s Milk Cheese:

  • Halloumi: Sheep and Cow milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Organic, Strength 3
    Their halloumi is a firm, slightly salty cheese that once fried or grilled takes on the classic finish we know and love.  Halloumi cheese is a salty brined ‘squeaky’ cheese that originates from the Mediterranean and is traditionally made from sheep milk, with the addition of mint.
  • Duddleswell: Sheep milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Organic, Strength 4
    Duddleswell is a hard cheddar-style cheese made from organic sheep milk. It has a well-rounded, rich flavour with a slightly sweet and nutty hint that comes from being aged for around five months. It is named after the small village on Ashdown Forest, where the Dairy was originally founded in 1986.
  • Sussex Blossom: Sheep milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Organic, Strength 3
    Sussex Blossom is made using organic sheep milk, it is matured for a minimum of 4 months and then coated in edible organic Safflower and Calendula petals to make a visually appealing cheese. The cheese has a firm, smooth texture. It’s delicate flavour – complex and slightly sweet herbaceous, has an aroma reminiscent of a summer hay meadow. We think this colourful and cheerful cheese could brighten anyone’s day and the cheese won a Silver Award at the World Cheese Awards in 2023!
  • Seven Sisters: Sheep milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Organic, Strength 3
    Named after the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs in East Sussex, Seven Sisters is a semi-soft matured sheep milk cheese, coated in a layer of Hebridean seaweed. The light nuttiness of the sheep milk cheese blends perfectly with the salty, unique flavour of the seaweed to give an intriguing cheese that is very morish. Seven Sisters won a Gold at the British Cheese Awards in 2022 and a Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards, also in 2022, and ‘Best Sheep’s Cheese’ at the Artisan Cheese Awards in 2023.
  • Medita: Sheep milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Organic, Strength 2
    Medita is typically known as Feta which has its origins in the Mediterranean. They make Medita in the traditional way using organic sheep milk which is matured it in brine for over five months. It is a semi-soft crumbly cheese with a distinct sharp, fresh, salty flavour.

Goat’s Milk Cheese:

  • Sister Sarah: Goat milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Non-Organic
    Sister Sarah is a semi-soft goat’s milk cheese that is matured for 8-12 weeks. It has a light, delicious flavour without too much of the ‘goatiness’ which is associated with a goat cheese. The cheese is very white because the goats digest all the carotene in the grass. Sister Sarah is a curd-washed cheese made by removing all the whey within the cheese-making process and replacing it with fresh water.

Cow’s Milk Cheese:

  • Sussex Floral Cow milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Organic, Strength 4
    Sussex Floral is dressed in edible organic marigold and safflower petals. This gives it an attractive appearance that adds joyful interest to any cheeseboard in the Spring months. Made from organic cow milk, Sussex Floral has a smooth buttery texture and citrus freshness, with a moreish fragrant aroma and herbaceous flavour.
  • Ashdown Forester Cow milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Organic, Strength 3
    Ashdown Forester’s is a young, firm un-pressed cheese with a creamy, slightly squidgy texture. Known for its character and charm, it has an attractive shape and basket weave texture on the natural edible rind. Ashdown Foresters is also available naturally smoked over oak shavings.
  • Brighton Blue Cow milk, Pasteurised, Vegetarian, Strength 4
    Brighton Blue is a mild, semi-soft cheese with a mellow blue flavour. It has a slightly salty finish with a delicious melt in the mouth texture. The blue-green veins deepen as the cheese matures, and the familiar flavour of the blue deepens. Brighton Blue has an attractive natural edible rind and has won numerous awards including a Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards in both 2019 and 2020.