August 29, 2005
Two Gems From Neal's Yard Diary
Posted by Gordon Smith

It has been a long time since I have posted about cheese, but with fall approaching, the smell of cheese is in the air. Over on the Cheese Forum, a new blog about cheese where I will be cross-posting my entries from here, Rusty started an open thread on cheese shops. If I were allowed to visit any cheese shop in the world, I would have to choose Neal's Yard Dairy, which has two locations in London. Last year, Neal's Yard (via Whole Foods) introduced me to Isle of Mull Cheddar, which remains one of my favorite cheeses ever. This weekend, I discovered two new cheeses from Neal's Yard: Westcombe Cheddar (orange) and Llangloffan (white). Both are hard cheeses made from raw cow's milk, and both pack a punch, especially the Llangloffan.

Westcombe Cheddar is made by the Calvert family at Westcombe Farm in Somerset County, England. It is a traditional, cloth-bound cheddar, and although it is generally described as "fruity," our wedge was nicely sharp. If you would like to see photos of Westcombe Farm and their cheesemaking operations, check out the list of cheeses at the NYD website, click on "Cheddar - Westcombe," and scroll down.

Llangloffan is produced by the Downey family near Pembrokeshire, Wales (which displays a surfer on its tourist sight, by the way). The Downey's have a story to tell about how they came to cheesemaking. Leon Downey was co-principal viola in the HallĂ© Orchestra and Joan Downey was a secretary when moved to Wales to make cheese. A big part of why I love cheese relates to stories like this. The Downey's are cheese people, and they have created an outstanding cheese. Our wedge was a  slightly crumbly, and the taste was spicy. It's bite made my children wince, but I was happy that they left most of it for me. Photos of the Llangloffan Welsh Farmhouse are available here.

Cheese | Bookmark

TrackBacks (0)

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Links to weblogs that reference Two Gems From Neal's Yard Diary:

Comments (4)

1. Posted by Caroline Bradley on August 29, 2005 @ 18:36 | Permalink

I love the Neal's Yard shop too - I used to work very close to it and was often tempted to visit. One of the cheeses I liked best was

2. Posted by Caroline Bradley on August 29, 2005 @ 19:40 | Permalink

sorry - milleens - I tried to post the url:

3. Posted by Gordon Smith on August 29, 2005 @ 20:22 | Permalink

Caroline, I am so jealous! I need to find an excuse to go to England next summer, and I would definitely make the effort to visit a NYD shop.

4. Posted by Tom Fakes on September 24, 2005 @ 0:44 | Permalink

My wife and I just took a vacation to the UK and by chance paid a visit to the Llangloffan cheese operation. They have tours daily during the summer.

Leon told us he is retiring this year, at the end of the season (October?), so there will be changes to the way this is run. He did tell us that there is a chance someone one be taking over the cheese making.

Why is there a season? The cows only eat grass, and when that isn't available in the winter, they are fed silage. He won't make cheese from cows fed on silage.

Every day they make cheese, they start at 5:30am so they are done by 2pm. Why? So they can go surfing....Pembrokeshire has some pretty good surf.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Recent Comments
Popular Threads
Search The Glom
The Glom on Twitter
Archives by Topic
Archives by Date
November 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
Miscellaneous Links