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Why you should ditch the brie and opt for a British cheeseboard this christmas.

The notion of hunger is simply not festive. Christmas is the time of year when food-comas are a necessity; one of the greatest culprits of this state of being is the cheeseboard.

It comes out, and you tell yourself a little sliverwon’t hurt, and after all — how often do you get offered a cheeseboard? Next thing you know, you’re bound to your chair, mumbling things to your relative about pain, regret.

They signify overindulgence. They represent the comfort you feel in your surroundings by permitting this coma of camembert. Christmas is all about the cheeseboards.

So what’s on your cheeseboard- Brie de Meaux, Roquefort? At a time of appreciation for your family, for your roots, we need to also appreciate our local roots , by opting for British cheese.

However, a recent encounter with an (anonymous) restaurant became rather heated at the mention of this:

“No, just no”

The sommelier of this one Michelin starred restaurant claimed,

“The French are the best, I don’t care what you are trying to sell me, we will always have a French cheeseboard.”

You see, after a recent visit to Caws Cenarth’s farm in Wales, — I began to wonder why anyone would buy across the border. There is a growing breed of innovative British producers who have not only learned from the French, but are challenging them now too.

On the recent Foodchain Welsh Trip, we took 14 of London’s chefs to visit Caws Cenarth farm. Pottering down a Welsh country lane we were greeted by the charming Carwyn Mort, who has won so many awards that he has a little shelving unit dedicated to them all.

Carwyn Mort was born on a dairy farm. During the 1980’s, milk quotas saw the price of milk drastically drop , until it was cheaper than water. How fortuitous for them, as from this situation Thelma (Carwyn’s mother) began to make cheese; and began with Caerphilly.

This cheese is a buttery and mellow; it crumbles easily with a tang of Lemon. Caws Cenarth’s Caerphilly is the oldest in Wales. All of their cheeses have this Caerphilly recipe at their core, the cheese which the Welsh miners used to have in their sandwiches for lunch.

Their business is still truly family run “We get all of the milk from my dad’s first cousin. It’s organic”, Carwyn tells us.

“We try to focus on quality, so customers always come back. It’s easier to market things which taste good.”

They also do blues, bries and sell chutneys made by their next door neighbour. “I want to make something which no-one else makes, something a little different” Carwyn tells us. It’s true, we get to try them all and each cheese is very unique yet familiar. They vary from intense blue, sheep’s milk cheeses to soft mellow oozing cheeses. You can curate a whole cheeseboard from their offering alone. So, why wouldn’t you? After all, if you are going to end up in a cheese coma, get yourself into a British cheese coma.

If you want to order some of their cheeses, go direct to them today. Save money, support British producers and get to eat delicious cheeses. Foodchain can also connect you with Blackwood’s Cheese, Kappacasein and Kupros Dairy.

Perl Las Best Blue & Home International Winner International Cheese Awards Nantwich Perl Las is unlike any other blue cheese, strong but delicate, creamy with lovely lingering blue overtones.

Perl Wen Looks like Brie. Behaves like Brie…….but! Gold Medal Yorkshire Show This modern Welsh cheese has the fresh citrus but creamy flavour of Caerffili with an underlying hint of sea salt……. very more-ish!

Golden Cenarth Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards This semi-soft cheese is washed in cider and develops a pungent savoury flavour with a nutty aftertaste. Comes in a special wooded crate and is Ready to Eat or Ready to Bake!

Thelma’s Original Caerffili Reserve Champion Royal Welsh 2016 A Welsh Classic, crafted to perfection. As traditional today as when it was made by Carwyn’s Great Great Grandmothers Lizzie Wyn and Leisa Jones. Mild fresh creamy cheese with a lemony flavour and a hint of underlying sea salt.

Cenarth Brie A Traditional French Style Cheese Cenarth Brie develops distinctive mushroomy and cabbagy aromas and flavours as it softens and matures.

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