Welsh Cheese







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Best Cheeses in Wales

        Receiving awards from The Welsh Development Agency (WDA) in early 2004 were: Caws Cenarth Cheesemakers, Boncath, Snowdonia Cheese Company, Llanwrst and Trethowanís Gorwydd Caerphilly, Tregaron. Teifi Celtic Promise Cheese won the best in Britain in 1998 and Gorau Glas won the Gold in the British Awards in 2002.

        The above are but a small selection of Welsh Cheesemakers in business today, the whole country is now home to some the best Cheesemakers in Europe. If you are visiting and happen to see a cheese factory, whether it be a farmhouse style or much larger stop to sample and taste. Enjoy some of the best cheeses anywhere in the world.

Welsh Cheeses in North America

        Buying Welsh cheeses outside of the major east coast cities is problematic and expensive. However, Somerdale exports to the US and Canada a series of mature Welsh cheddars that are blended with various ingredients by Abergavenny Fine Foods. These are good cheeses and are generally quite available, marketed under the following names: Red Dragon (cheddar blended with wholegrain mustard seeds and Welsh ale), Black Mountain (cheddar blended with white wine and garlic), Harlech (cheddar blended with chopped horseradish and parsley) and Tintern (cheddar blended with fresh chives and shallots). In the featured recipe, we used Black Mountain.

        Genuine Welsh Caerphilly cheese is available on a very limited basis marketed under the name Gorwydd. A Welsh style Caerphilly is made by Singletonís of Preston, Lancs and also exported by Somerdale. This Caerphilly is an acceptable substitute until a better distribution system makes real Welsh Caerphilly readily available.

Welsh Cheese Tastings

Ken Thorne, Ninnau Food Editor, Offers Tastings of Black Mountain, Caerphilly (Singleton) And Welsh Rarebit Made From a Blend Of Both Cheeses. Heinen's Fine Foods, Mentor, Ohio on May 1, 2004

        You may wish to know that currently Heinen's Store in Mentor, Ohio as does many of their stores in Northern Ohio does have a selection of Welsh Cheeses. They have Red Dragon (creamy cheddar blended with wholegrain mustard seeds and Welsh ale) and Black Mountain (creamy cheddar blended with white wine and garlic). They also have a Caerphilly Cheese (Singleton) in the cheese case along with the above cheeses. It is labeled "A Young English Cheese" Ė donít bite your tongue!

        Please stop at your favorite Heinenís Store and ask for the above cheeses! If they do not have it, you may order it Ė it will usually come in the following Wednesday. Hopefully, by patronizing Welsh Cheeses we can increase the sales volume sufficiently to cause a blip on the exporterís radar screen. We pray that may result in some of the wonderful award winning Welsh Farmhouse Cheeses making their way over here! Letís dream a little and think about a small miracle!

         We tasted the Black Mountain along with a Welsh Rarebit made from a blend of Black Mountain and Caerphilly, we served it on crackers or grilled zucchini slices Ė shoppers thought it was yummy! The following week Heinenís weekly promo flyer featured Red Dragon Cheese as their gourmet cheese of the week Ė the first time a Welsh cheese as been promoted here in Northern Ohio!

        The store management felt the event was a success. We look forward to doing future tastings at several other Heinen's Stores throughout the area. We will keep you appraised on locations and dates.

        Other Welsh Cheeses available in North America are Harlech (cheddar blended with chopped horseradish and parsley) and Tintern (cheddar blended with fresh chives and shallots).  Depending on demand, Heinen's may stock these in the future!

        If you are in the Akron area, please visit the cheese shop at The West Point Market. Diana Boles is the manager and usually has a good selection of Welsh Cheeses. You can mail order cheese from them. Their Website is: www.westpointmarket.com .

Contact Ken at: WelshFoodie@aol.com

Copyright © 2004 Ken Thorne.