With over a century’s experience between them, our team of expert cheesemakers understand that what they do is an art. Using all their senses, they individually craft every cheese by hand. The recipes they follow date back generations; each batch of cheese is started using a culture that has remained unchanged for decades. Our heritage starters deliver their own spectrum of flavours.
At every stage of its creation we strive for greatness, and it all begins with the land. The red Devon soil, the gentle rain and warmth of sunlight give us lush pasture to feed our cows. We use a carefully managed grazing system to ensure the cows get the best of our grass, day in and day out.
Every morning we walk them across Home Farm’s fields to the dairy, where the fresh milk is transferred into enormous vats, into which we add our prized starter culture. This is an art in itself, increasing the acidity and beginning the process of creating each cheese’s complex flavour profile.
Next we add natural rennet to separate the curds (the milk solids that will become cheese) and the whey, which we use to enrich the pastures our cows graze on. Nothing is wasted.
The curds are then allowed to settle, forming a dense golden blanket of young curd before our nine cheesemakers get hands-on, cutting the curd into large strips and turning it by hand to allow the last remnants of whey to drain away. This is the “cheddaring” process, essential to the creation of genuine farmhouse cheddar.
Once the cheesemakers have cheddared the curd to perfection, it’s carefully milled to give our finished cheeses their pleasingly even texture. We add a shake of Cornish Sea Salt and then each cheese is wrapped by hand in muslin, allowing it to breathe as it matures, slowly in the cool quiet of our stores.
The cheeses are placed lovingly into traditional wooden racks in the ‘nursery store’, where the first flushes of maturation begin to show. After around three months the cheeses are moved from this higher humidity store into our ‘Cathedral of Cheese’ to continue on the ageing process. Here the clothbound truckles are turned every ten days to maintain an even texture as they mature for up to two years.
This cool, dark hall of cheese has been likened to a vast gallery of exquisite Pollock-esq paintings. Each rind displays a spectrum of texture and colour from camo-green to bright orange.
The mould garden grows on the clothbound cheese, creating a rich, horseradish flavour under the rind – one of the distinguishing hallmarks of Quicke’s cheese. The maturation is when our unique range of flavours really emerges, from the creamy freshness of Quicke’s Buttery Clothbound Cheddar to the satisfyingly complex Quicke’s Vintage Clothbound Cheddar.