The Courtyard Dairy | Affineur of the Year 2023

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Who are we?

Created with the ethos to sell only the best cheese available from the British Isles,  The Courtyard Dairy specialises in championing and supporting the remaining independent farmhouse cheese-makers producing great British farmhouse cheese.

Concentrating on working with small individual farmers that still make their cheese by hand, with unpasteurised milk from their own herds, in order to get the best depth of flavour and to encourage traditional and sustainable farming practices. 

Andy Swinscoe at The Courtyard Dairy

Which cheeses have you chosen to mature?

Quicke’s Cheddar & Fen Farm Baron Bigod

Why did you enter the competition?

To have a bit of fun and see the interesting affects of different maturation styles.  Always great to increase knowledge and understanding of the impact of maturation on the cheese.

What is your relationship with affinage to date?

At The Courtyard Dairy some cheeses are matured further on in different specific conditions, but only if we feel the cheese will benefit from it.  We see it is as much more a case of selling cheese in great condition and at its peak rather than trying to fundamentally change the cheese. 

Occasionally we run special projects, such as washing a cheese that is un-washed; drying out and further maturing goats cheese, etc . but these tend to be done for an educational, or fun learning experience rather than an ongoing project. 

How are you approaching the maturation and why have you chosen this approach?

We want to do something different and radical just to see what happens, so are trying to un-cloth the cheese and keep it in our Wensleydale (moister) store.  The main reason for that is just to see what happens if we do something outside the box. 

With the Baron Bigod we have experimented with washing it on previous occasions and have been very happy with the result so plan on doing the same to bring out those umami/savoury flavours and a soft/unctuous texture. 

What are your expectations for the matured cheeses?

Hopefully something different and interesting! But we shall see! Perhaps drier, with a greater rind than the others….?!?

Further information:

https://www.thecourtyarddairy.co.uk/

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