Academy of Cheese in Conversation with Avril Malloy talking Irish Cheese

Academy of Cheese – Charlie Turnbull in Conversation with Avril Malloy exploring Irish Farmhouse Cheese,across a variety of styles. We taste Cashel Blue and Killeens Goats’ gouda style.

Streamed live on Feb 2, 2021


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In conversation with Avril Malloy Irish farmhouse cheeses Video Transcript

Right everybody, it’s Tuesday night it’s Cheese night. I am Charlie Turnbull we are the academy of cheese and this is the wonderful Avril Malloy. Avril, lovely to see you, uh, across the irish sea. Yes not too far really only across the pond, across the pond, skipping a jump, it’s going to jump over the hedge as they say. How are you?

how is it what’s the weather like it’s wet and rainy uh but quite mild but that could change tomorrow and so the fields are kind of very damp but as you would say there’s a fine stretch in the evening we’re getting until about ten to five now in the evening before it gets dark so it’s nice it says my garden and the snow drops are coming up and stuff for you to think that the world is re-emerging in some sort of positive way yeah it really is and the you know the bulbs are up and the zap is rising so it’s getting a bit better everyone’s a bit fed up being locked in you knew fed up nobody’s fell up we’re all really calm okay got it yeah it’s been a bit of but anyway if we just stay home and eat lots of cheese we’ll be fine yes we will we’ll go i’m i’m on one of my and annual diets because that’s exactly what i do too much of but this is professional i can eat cheese that’s part of my job so where are you everyone are you are you in dublin were you somewhere else this is my cheese so you’ve got three cheese envy so um we we tucked into ours a little bit i’m afraid prematurely uh in uh on on saturday night somewhat late to be honest um and so i’ve got casual blue i’ve got the lean the goat scouter and uh so what have you got as well i have um cashew blue which is cow’s milk cheese uh it’s actually on the level two academy of cheese of course and i have your clean goat gowda which is a really unusual one beautiful soft cheese from um well pliable builder from galway but i also as a treat found moss fields for you which is an orange and but all around ireland you did but you’re back and everyone saw you so um they got that it was moss field which is an organic cheese now we’re going to do a little bit we’re going to eat the cheese obviously and we’ll talk a little bit about cheese but why don’t you just begin by telling us sort of the potted history of cheese in ireland okay well like most of europe there’s evidence of cheese making in ireland like 12 to 14 000 years ago for through archaeological digs and but it died out for the same reasons as you know it did in the uk that um well for start the land people didn’t have as much land and then as time went on butter became more popular because they would be paid more they’d earn more money for making butter however um fast forward to the 1980s late 70s early 80s and a group of women i must say and began to make sort of researched the uh irish farmhouse cheese movement uh jeffrey gill veronica steele and and they were very very good friends veronica steele unfortunately passed away a number of years ago but she made the famous berlins um which was you know since the 80s was featured on the dorchester cheeseboard you know famous hotel in london and and she was very friendly with jeff mcgill so they decided through um the what the love of land or the love of a man they ended up um in power this is all down in cork isn’t it you’ve given me a map to look at so i’m going to bring that on and we’ll point out where you’re talking about where’s my magic button here we go okay so um cork as everybody who knows anything about anything unlike a bottle of wine is down at the bottom it’s the toe of the of the of the island it’s kind of the center of the south coast there where that cow is the sort of mid where there’s an inlet there but above the cow okay gulf coast and we probably need a bigger cork because there’s so much cheese making going on down there and but generally and carrie and claire and temporary and galway they’re just what’s great  Charlie  is that board bia our irish food export board have put this map together and also kosh which is gaelic for cheese they are the irish cheese makers association they also have a map and on their website which is cheese irish cheese dot ie and the links to both of those are in the chat if anyone wants them but it gives you a really positive look that ireland is really healthy has a fabulous array of farmhouse cheese we have some of the best milk in the world and because of our climate where we’ve got the gulf stream down to the west which gives us lots of rain unfortunately but that’s great for grass and your animals are outside more than 300 days a year so that’s really really good and hygiene and inspection standards are very very high farmers have lots of you know generational experience so there’s a lot going for ireland as a cheese making uh country and with fabulous grass which of course makes great cheese well that’s it i mean you’re called the green the emerald dial the green or whatever it is i mean that goes to the heart of it it’s good grass i mean we we the the you know britain the other the other island in this part of the world um we were pretty late to the cheese party too compared to you know the mediterraneans and all that kind of thing um but and like you but possibly for different reasons it’s really flowered in the last 20 to 30 years 40 years kind of thing yeah yeah it’s absolutely wonderful and now and we also have that you can get any type of cheese whether it’s you know a brie style hard cloth bound washed around and but also any type of milk we have a couple of mozzarella makers now in pork little brown buffalo down here for buffalo to make mozzarella so the crew member crew and tunes bridge and it’s just um superb the variety of cheeses we have and i suppose the three that we have tonight are iconics in our world but thankfully there’s actually a lot of iconic cheese now in in in ireland and that’s exported all over the world between australia canada the us and europe so let’s let’s start with tell me the story let’s eat um the story of colleen is this beautiful white i would call this an introductory goat’s cheese it’s very mild and creamy colleen is made by a fabulously talented cheese maker called marion robot in galway and marion came to ireland in the early 2000s and has trade as a fully qualified trained cheese maker and not only is she responsible for making clean goat but she was also involved in making other irish cheeses initially like koshnatira which is a fabulous pecorino style not fudge like cheese and also i found out today talking to the makers of moss fields that she used to they used to provide the milk and she made their cheese also so she’s probably one of the most experienced cheese makers we have in ireland and we have many and and i won gold at the 2019 world cheese awards very nice yeah so marine is a super super super talented lady i’ve been to her farm when i worked with sheridans and she hand makes all her cheese and marian’s very tall so she leans in over the vash to make all these cheeks his back breaking work i don’t want to ask the the age of this lady marian because that would be rude but i’ve got i’ve got this i’ve got this mental villa metal village his mental image of a tall wise person leaning over and cuddling her curds into the outcome she wants all wise and very um young looking lady very young and super down to earth to deal with and i love clean goat because it’s it’s it’s kind of falls between two stools in terms of the academy and make classification because it’s quite soft and pliable um and it’s got a double layer of wax coat of uh coating on it uh just to stop the the molds um invading the rind it’s quite pretty though it looks it looks nice it’s got a sort of natural kind of feel to it golden color but when you take it it is just she actually washes the card to reduce the acidity so well that’s it this is this this is gouda isn’t it in in style um which means you know should be what it should be you can do what you like but um that implies that it’s a washed curd cheese and you’ve got you’ve what i think you’re tasting with this which which is astonishingly good it’s almost like a double sweetness you’ve got the sweetness of goat’s milk which is that velvety dairy butt light kind of marbling i think but also we’ve got vaguely caramelly sweetness that’s going in there as well which would have come from the wash curd kind of thing and it makes a gives a great depth without without being sweet i mean it’s sweet it’s sweet but it’s not sweet it also melts beautifully so it’s great in salads or as toasties and when i worked as a cheese monger i if people were looking for a cheese to introduce a non-gold cheese lover someone who wasn’t i can see this yeah yes and without fail everybody took it and no matter who i operated there is not one smidgen of farmyard in this is there there’s not um there’s none of the billy coat that sort of goatee um uh the the shag you know the the billy coat um it is it is pure and um elegance is quite the right word it’s just spanking clean it’s just really really clean flavor it’s just really smooth and there’s a good length on it as well um but it doesn’t have that even the on the nose the smell of it doesn’t have i mean obviously the color that sort of bright whiteness gives it away as being a go but nothing else does no if it was slightly darker you would not call it a ghost cheese no absolutely not um so it is very unusual i’ve never seen now i’ve tasted you know the the extra mature farmhouse or goat garter bush and which would be quite hard and crystallized but this is just pliable and soft she also makes it not without the richness it’s not it’s it’s not it’s not like a young gouda is that sort of salty fat you know we we’ve got real real flavor here and she also makes cow’s cheese she makes um uh emmental style cheese also called kilmore a full alpine hard cooked cheese with a high school product and that’s absolutely divine as well really really that’s that is a hard cheese and a lot of milk to commit so so so going back to the one i’ve got here sorry i’m dropping bits of cheese we got here everyone um they she ages them from sort of six weeks to two months that’s more to the two months i would say just knowing they’re so much older than two months it does absolutely i mean if that was a cow’s milk cheese you would expect a minimum six to get this texture and this complexity yeah she’s very talented lady um i don’t think even a talented lady could rush a cheese i mean nothing can rush cheese yeah that’s two months old so found the level two academy of cheese book of 75 cheeses [Music] mm-hmm i think that’s delicious um i’ve had i’ve had quite a few cheeses recently that have been the best examples of that cheese that i’ve ever had this is without without any question the best clean i’ve had um and i would say bizarrely i’ve just we were doing some tasting on some lincoln chipotle yesterday that was the best cheese i’ve ever had i wonder whether while lockdown has been rude to cheese makers it might have been good to cheese if you see what to me i would agree um although saying that you know in preparation for tonight i spoke to a few cheese makers and they’re doing really really well and they were cleaned out a lot of them before christmas and particularly the goat and the sheep cheese makers they’re quite sorry the goat and sheep cheese cheeses are quite difficult to get at the moment because they’re seasonal a lot of the animals are having a break at the moment um as our mossfield cows but um coming up to christmas they were all sold out bear shells um and have a quiet january now i think people were stockpiling before christmas uh also there was a huge surge probably the same in the uk huge surge on online orders people just went bananas and which is great news because this time last year they lost 70 percent of their business most of them when you know food service closed down particularly the salt cheese makers you can’t hold on to that yeah the hard cheese makers can can afford to either stop making because they’ve still got stock by drawing down on their on their um their sellers or they can continue to make and just stock up um and solve the problem later today but no the freshies hard no very hard very hard not out of the woods yet there’s still a long way to go you know when we’re we can’t see the finish line of this cover thing just yet so yeah we just need to buy more  Charlie  and buy more your local cheese and you know support our local wherever you’re live that’s right so we’re reaching out to you people watching please go buy more cheese eat a lot more cheese and when you’ve had enough cheese eat more cheese that will make you a good person and you’ll go to heaven right on that front let’s get grubby let’s talk about cashels very good very good this is casual blue probably one of our most famous cheeses i i’m going to come off the fence here and i will be shocked for it but it is comfortably my favorite irish cheese are you just saying that now aren’t you i am i know i absolutely love it this feeling though however is is coming up on the outside but um uh i really love i really love casual blue i think it’s it’s it’s it just appeals to everybody you know it’s great it’s funny you say that because i had a chat with sarah farno who is the second generation making she’s uh louis grubb’s daughter and jane and louis grubb’s daughter their gorgeous family visited their farm my first day working as a cheese monger was a visit to their farm and it was just magical and when they designed or when they invented cashew blue they deliberately wanted to keep it like the mild blue ireland doesn’t have a strong tradition of of liking really strong blues in those days so and they were trying to develop a cheese that would be you know accessible to everybody and also in those days um it was quite unusual to have if you can see this it’s quite pliable and soft very soft yeah it’s very much that rock for over tradition of cheese making and it’s not just ireland that didn’t have a history of this britain did not have a history of this either it’s very much a um an adopted technique yeah um and actually um louis grubb and the is it the erringtons became very very friendly and talked about and they introduced casual blue as um a sort of a soft uh alternative to maybe stilton and not as strong and and it has grown and grown it’s mild it’s creamy there’s a good um distribution of blue in it and they’ve also developed um crozier blue which is the sheep’s milk version of this which is divine also and they make a hard uh gouge as well called shepherd store in but that’s not available until the summer adopts a recipe like the grub’s adopted a blue cheese um they it takes time to bring that local element they start off with a recipe and they’re sort of trying to recreate i don’t know they’re very nice but you can feel the irishness it’s got butter it’s kind of it’s screaming big grass do you know what i mean yeah and and they’re they have they use milk from their own heart um and they have it’s still made on the farm they have a beautiful farmhouse a beautiful cheese making facility in the field on the farm um and they package it and sell it to all over the world um including you know the states australia canada um and a lot into the uk as well and it so change it’s oh i’ve never had a piece of castle that wasn’t like this well i was told a story when i went to visit them um uh mr grub was talking about originally they matured the cheeses in their cellar not in their purpose-built building and apparently the the rock 40 started getting into the wooden beams that was holding his house out and and the council came in and tried to condemn the building because it was basically being eaten alive by cheese which i that you know that’s a commitment you know what’s happening is better that’s better than a sci-fi movie oh no the cheese has eaten my house yeah i think it’s great i hope it’s true i hope it’s true he told me himself so it must be true absolutely it would be true um but i love that i think that’s really really good but um his daughter sarah burno is now and her husband are now um looking after the cheese and but she sarah told me that they started to mature it a bit more slowly changing slightly they just feel that that gives it a little bit more depth um have you lost me i did briefly but you’re back um anyway they’ve started to mature for a little bit longer a little bit more slowly and most places that sell it at the moment i would check that it’s it’s at least 12 weeks old oh look at it hang on we’re in the house here it’s true about the mold in the salad hi sarah delighted she joined us i thank you sarah for i do like i have a few stories which aren’t quite as true as that so i’m very pleased i’m putting that in the yes it’s true box um i i think we should make a movie there’s there’s got to be a movie in there for a house made even book or something uh yeah no i i think you can taste it i think you can taste that extra age um and it’s got that slightly that the mold is becoming quite pecaned and there’s a so there’s more of a fermentation in the body of the cheese yeah i think also for a blue cheese like it’s got that natural round beautiful landscape on there look at the coloring on that isn’t that beautiful i feel the need to show mine now here we go yeah but it’s just got that natural mold um and a really good blue distribution and it’s spectacular absolutely gorgeous i’d like i’d like to um to bring attention to that because what people forget about blue is that the blue yes it brings flavor yes that blue is a certain face but the action of the penicillium rock 40 is to break down the curd itself and so the the right time means the curd tastes better but here we’re seeing i don’t know if you can see that am i right here can we see that can you see that come on you can focus can you focus come on focus mr camera right can we see that just under the rhine there’s almost like additional breakdown um where where we’re getting more action from the penicillin rock 40 that’s settling on the outside it’s getting an almost bree like effect just under the skin that is cheese yeah yeah like a mold ripened cheese yeah and also just for interest sake i have a piece of their crozier girl here which is the sheep and it’s divine as well and these lines here for people who may not realize these lines are where the cheese is pierced during during because the penicillium rock 40 is added at the make stage and the cheese is in the milk is in the bath but activate it until it has oxygen to feed on so that’s why blue cheeses are pierced uh wait absolutely right now that that magical moment when you open up mold and it starts going bloom bloom and it’s really easy to see sometimes i doubt you’d see it on this cheese but with some shoes like stilton or dorset blue vinnies the blue can really subside in the cheese and it almost goes back to being white you can cut it open and the blue returns it’s like a flower garden just coming up but with a cheese with a cheese like casual blue where the structure the curd is a lot more loose you have permanent air holes inside little cavities which four little mold blankets or mold wallpaper around the outside of the cavity that gives the blue i’m gonna find one i’m thinking this you could drink it with anything but i’m drinking this with the beer because i think a lot of irish cheeses go with beer we don’t have an indigenous wine in this case i’d argue i’d argue across the water in britain so you’ve got um uh you know everyone says oh but there’s a wine industry in the uk since the romans i go yes but the amount of wine compared to the amount of beer is like that okay let’s be honest there’s a couple of posh wine makers down the bottom back in 1850 and all that and an awful lot of people drinking beer and that’s why they tasted good together but also i think what goes together grows together grows together and if you have a look and see like we’ve lots of apples and pears that grow naturally in ireland and that goes very well whether it’s you know a perry or a cider or even a sparkling you know some beautiful sparkling apple juices or i have um a still apple juice from butchering here down and downing downing i’m probably sure you’ve got good apple juice we’ve done in cork there’s amazing apple juices sparkling apples ciders and probably it’s further up as well i don’t know my apple um apple juice and the craft beers beer industry has just exploded here as well in the last five years five years that’s that’s just teenagers who didn’t grow up let’s be honest right thank you one you’ve got you’ve got another cheese i can’t join you you’ve got to tell its story okay well this is mossfield and it’s a gowda as well um and it’s going to grow it’s organic milk and it’s made by rafe haslam in bahrain county athlete and it’s um well it’s actually temporary but anyway um i spoke to rave today and he was delighted that we were we had his cheese our brother’s cheese along tonight they started out as a dairy farm and they brought their milk to marinara in clean to make their cheese and and after a while they decided well you know just milk wasn’t really enough uh to keep them keep them going so they decided to make cheese they’re make their own cheese so they converted to organic in 2000 and they have a very unusual um breed of cow called the rotten bunt which is um you’re gonna have to say that one again [Music] originally a cow that came from cork but the monks brought it to germany and then they crossbred it and they now um rife has heard of those cows but also he’s recently bought some mont belliarts as well okay sound like the beginning of a good joke there was a cow from cork end up on a fork uh anybody want to complete the limerick we are welcoming um okay uh so so we’ve got we’ve got rotbundt and we’ve got some mombelia so we’re getting some high quality milk here really high quality milk um and actually there’s another uh cheese called bo rua which is red cow in gaelic and that’s doing very well in ireland at the moment and their whole their entire herd is montbelliart so and it’s become a really you know popular breed in ireland and so because it’s it’s kind of like a cheddar consistency and quite soft and pliable but it doesn’t it breaks and cracks okay i can see that it’s got a sort of uh a white carrot not a white yellow but with white edges almost like it’s a sort of sheep’s milk cheese kind of got of an aged sheep yeah it’s quite pale for a cow’s milk cheese and um rafe is in his 70s and he still works the farm um and he but he has now got to the stage where he has employed cheese makers and but his son is also very into organic farming and organic food generally so hopefully there’s another generation to take to keep it going and again a lovely family story family farm the cheese is made on the farm with their own all their own milk he doesn’t use milk from any other other farm and they also make yogurt and and they sell yogurt and milk as well so they’ve quite a few products down there and they have a cumin version as well again all organic so this is the cumin one i yeah i think in cumin’s interesting because um cumin with gouda is old old 600 years old recipe or whatever it is um but for me it’s one of those cheeses where it isn’t really very nice until you’ve got the cheese to the right age and then the dryness of the curd makes the put the cumin in contest i think it can i really think it’s it’s an interesting one because people think it’s just flavor cheese and the cheese then sort of take the back seat but with garlic cumin you really need to get cheese right for the cumin and you have you’ve got a really good balance this is 10 months old this particular one yeah i i think you’d need that yeah he makes 30 tons of it a year  Charlie  so that’s no insignificant amount no no not if you’re 70. it’s not so um so but it’s soft it’s buttery there’s a little bit of a pecan seed towards the end of it um and it’s just it melts in your mouth i would put that on any cheese board that i’d have in the evening i would like to taste it i would like to taste it i’ll see if i can get hold of some because it’s not one i know well i know it’s in haxton’s and i think it’s in the vine it’s in um it’s definitely in pakistan but i’m not sure where else i had trouble finding it to be honest at the moment again cows are resting yeah but it’s it’s a difficult world out there now i’ve got sarah’s come back i want to raise this point which i think is really interesting because she said ryan’s are so important to flavor a number of years ago we waxed a cash flow honestly half the flavors and and and that really goes to the point that um there’s so much more to achieve than bunging a bit of blue and hope it works kind of thing yeah well absolutely i think and the rind contributes to the flavor um if you didn’t have all the lovely bacterial growth you know beneficial both on the round and as you say the there’s a little bit of breakdown underneath the rind on yours well all the flavor then from the you know the chemical um reactions that are going on between the rind and the paste that’s going to add to the flavor yeah yeah i think also if you if you were to wax it you’d stop the breathing in some way and uh and on our academy cheese courses we’re always telling people don’t wrap lose in airtight packaging because it kills them so um i think you know this is a really good example actually the rind although it’s not quite the same but the coloring on the rind reminds me of form down bear it’s quite similar right we’ve got our first entrant i do think we should send this out onto twitter or something but alice and i are going for our first limerick here there was a cow from cork that didn’t end up on a fork she looked in the dairy which made her so weary because it was filled with wok which which is the first time alison brilliant you definitely get a star for that um but i’d like to see more limericks that begin with there was a cow from cork and see where we can get on um Avril this is amazing i’ve got a couple of sort of sidey questions about arlen moving slightly away from um uh from from farmhouse cheeses one third of the cheddar consumed in the uk comes from the republic of ireland is that right yes yes that’s we have a a huge cheddar industry and traditionally it was black cheddar again mainly from cork bought some beautiful examples of that coming out now with different flavor profiles you know um depending on the uh per batch one being car breeze and they’re fabulous cheese maker and cork and um yeah so it’s a bit concerning well where will we will that still continue now or not but uh but likewise you know we buy a lot of british cheese yeah yeah um yeah i mean cheddar cheddar is such an interesting one because at the end of the day it’s it’s it’s a properly international cheese um it doesn’t have that same um uh terwa issue especially with the blockchains where has Avril gone you’ve got a runaway piece of cheese maybe there’s cheese rolling going on island right now um okay okay i have no idea where Avril has gone so anyway it’s time we wrapped up so thank you Avril i’ll see you again when she returns um but that’s irish cheese there’s so much more to talk about hopefully we can get our Avril to come back maybe in a few months to tell more about irish cheese um and um let’s why don’t we just just do that and we’ll tell more about irish cheese um and um we’ll discuss some of the other obscure wonderfuls because one of the things island’s so very good at is washed rind cheeses which i really like that doris millen thing which we can touch on as well so we’ll get Avril back we she still uh she disappeared off stage left right um i also have to say that we have lots of people offering level one courses and level two courses which you can do online or you can book in with me and have me in a kind of very voluminous kind of way talking lots of cheese um online they’re kind of kind of what you call it a webinar kind of structure and in general the academy is doing lots of um zoom meetings that are about cheese and things like that but it looks like we will be back at some point uh this year to eat cheeses in restaurants in delhi’s and all that kind of stuff so i’m very excited about that uh what else to say see you in a couple of weeks time oh we’re moving to it every two weeks did i tell you that every two weeks um meanwhile i will have finished my diet by then i’ll be back eating cheese see you then all the best and stay wise and cheese eating happy oh a power cut okay well i thought i’d just wrapped up and was about to end the broadcast but at sem route so i’ve we’re reopening and say goodbye to you so uh thank you very much Avril for coming on and i was saying if you could come back in a few months and do some more irish cheese introductions uh a tour of the emerald isle by by curd that would be fantastic i’d absolutely love to thanks a million  Charlie  and thanks to the academy hi tracy alice thanks a million guys and if anyone’s interested in finding more irish cheeses the two links that you have in the chat there will help them irish cheese.i.e or board beer or hopefully your local good cheese monger or farm shop of course okay see you next time bye everyone you