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Say cheese!

 
Created on 02/12/2019 @ 11:00
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A local woman has had a dramatic change in career but hopes her new pathway will lead to a popular new product on the shelves this Christmas.

Cheesemaker Clare Jones created the initial recipe for Trefaldwyn Blue at her home in Montgomery, where she has lived for the past 15 years, and from where she runs her business having given up a job teaching in a local primary school.

The product has already proved a hit with local retailers and should be available over the coming weeks from local shops including The High Street Deli in Newtown, Rikki Lloyd Butchers in Welshpool, Derwen Farm Shop in Guilsfield and Castle Kitchen in Montgomery.

“I’ve spent the last year perfecting the recipe for Trefaldwyn Blue,” said Clare. “The result is a lovely, full flavoured, soft and creamy blue cheese made from pasteurised Welsh cow’s milk.

“I decided to start making cheese a couple of years ago. It was something I had thought about for a while because we are surrounded by so many lovely small dairy farms with rich pastures that produce the very highest quality milk, yet it all gets collected and taken away to large dairies for processing.

“I want to support local dairy farmers by producing local cheese using their milk. It has been impossible to buy locally produced cheese in Montgomeryshire, and my mission is to change that!”

Six months ago, Clare reached the test-batch stage and started to involve local businesses, giving samples to get feedback.

Barrie and Jojo from the high street Deli in Newtown commented: “We could not be more excited about bringing this exquisite, luxurious blue cheese to our customers. We are often asked about ‘local’ cheeses so to have a company setting up over the hill from the deli is thrilling. It will be a delight to offer Trefaldwyn Blue in our cheese counter and in our cheese toasties. What an early Christmas present.”

It will also be on the menu in the Dragon Hotel and the Checkers in Montgomery, as well as on full display at Cheese tasting events from Shed38 zero waste shop (also in Montgomery).

So, what makes Trefaldwyn Blue so special? Clare puts it down to slowing everything down.

“A key part of the cheese making process is where microbes transform a natural sugar in milk called lactose into lactic acid, most cheese makers do this quickly to maximise production. With Trefaldwyn Blue, this is done slowly over two days, this helps to develop the unique bold and creamy flavour of the cheese.

“I liken this to bread making where a slow rise creates a better flavour. This slow process also allows time for the blue mould culture to start forming earlier, ensuring a thorough and even spread of blue throughout the cheese.”

Clare has been working with the Welsh Government Food Centre in Horeb near Cardigan.

“The support I have received has been amazing, especially the help from Mark Jones, who makes his own multi-award-winning cheese.”

Trefaldwyn Cheese is currently produced at Horeb, however full production will be moved to Montgomery once a suitable location has been found.

Clare can be contacted directly on clare@trefaldwyn.com.

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