Good Morning Cheesy1’s,
One of the earliest celebrations/tributes in the year is Burns Night which pays tribute to Robert Burns Day a poet and writer of many Scottish poems. The celebration consists of a supper on his birthday 25th January which contains foods such as haggis, whisky and cheese; during the meal poetry is recited to the haggis in appreciation. The food is followed by music from bagpipes and recitation of more poetry written by Burns. The Burns supper may be formal or informal whatever takes your fancy but it is seen as a celebration and a fitting tribute to a poet who was remembered in memoriam at the end of the 18th century.
Now we all may know that haggis is a typically Scottish food but what cheeses should you pay attention to and serve as part of your Burns supper? Below Is a selection of Scottish Cheeses that I feel would make a perfect selection for your celebration.
1. Isle Of Mull Unpasteurised Cheddar from Isle Of Mull, Inner Hebrides, West Coast Of Scotland.
“It is the only dairy farm on the Island; every one else is far more sensible.”
The traditional way of making cheese is still very much alive on the Isle of Mull at Sgriob-ruadh farm close to Tobermory where Isle of Mull Cheese is made.
There is quite a lot of cheese producers that choose to use pasteurised milk but because Isle Of Mull have complete control over its production they therefore don’t pasteurise the cheese as they believe “pasteurisation to be an unnecessarily brutal way of treating milk to be used for the making of Isle of Mull Cheese.”
Like many good cheddars blue veins develop which is a natural blueing which is an added bonus! Its a brilliant indicator to many as to the maturity and the nature of the production of the cheese.
This lovely strong and nutty cheese is a brilliant addition and is a must for a Burns night supper.
Get your Isle Of Mull cheese here http://www.isleofmullcheese.co.uk/mailorder.htm.
2. Strathdon Blue Pasteurised Blue from Tain, Ross-shire.
A cheese that is always evolving! The producers of this cheese always tweak and change the recipe so you never quite know the style of cheese your going to get, but as they say perfection takes time!
The milk used is from two remaining dairy herds in Caithness. The cheese has a mellow, aromatic flavour which has earned awards at both the British Cheese Awards and World Cheese Awards. This cheese is well known and has a flavour when it is ripe more similar to a continental blue with a soft texture. The flavour in the blue isn’t as strong as a Stilton but the cheese is milky & savoury with a salty edge which makes it a balanced cheese.
Get some Strathdon Blue from Clarks online here http://www.clarksfoodsonline.co.uk/cheese-c1/burns-night-c29/strathdon-blue-scottish-cheese-250g-p14.
3. St Andrews Red Anster from Pittenweem, Anstruther.
This is the ‘sister’ cheese to the Anster which you can read about on my blog. Following the same production method with its milk and rennet this cheese has the same crumbly and lemon tang but this isn’t so prominent, because during production they add fresh garlic & chives with a splash of annatto (A naturally occurring seed that produces a potent colorant usually red, yellow or orange which is added to food for colour) to give it a different flair & flavour. The maturation is slightly less for this cheese which is between 2-4 months. The most noticeable thing however is that because this cheese uses fresh garlic & chives it has an amazing aroma and the flavour when eating is strong and not ‘wishy-washy’. This would make a welcome addition to a cheesy garlic bread, melted in a pasta dish, a salad or served with barbequed meats particularly on top of good quality burgers.
Finding this cheese can be difficult but I suggest you phone St Andrews Cheese Co. on 01333 312580 as they would be more than happy to help you.
4. Mull Of Kintyre Pasteurised Cheddar from Campbeltown with milk from Isle Of Mull.
Mull Of Kintyre cheddar is uses milk from dairy farmers at the Kintyre peninsula which produces a lovely rich, creamy and strong cheddar. This unique cheddar is expertly crafted in Campletown and has been since 1923. With this considered it creates a deliciously rich, bold and characterful cheddar which uses time-honoured methods to craft the cheese. This results in a really good cheddar and is sure to get your taste buds tingling with its extra mature and vintage strength. It has a salty crunch, a well rounded body with a sweet & nutty flavour. It is designed to simulate all the different taste sensations for a very unique cheese experience and it doesn’t disappoint!
Available from Waitrose pre-packed or cheese counters and other supermarkets which makes it easy to add a little magic to your Burns night supper.
5.Connage Clava Organic Brie from Moray Firth.
Clava brie is made on the family farm by the shores of the Moray Firth and has won many awards from:
Gold British Cheese Awards
Gold World Cheese Awards
British Cheese Awards
Royal Highland Show