Refrigerated Cheese brining store.
This project supported by the Leader Project consists of the installation of a refrigerated brining room to the dairy, to improve product storage and workflow, and the purchase of equipment for creating marbled cheeses.
It is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development:
Europe investing in rural areas.
Brighton Blue has been recognised as one of the best cheeses in the world in the 30th annual World Cheese Awards.
At the 2017-2018 World Cheese Awards Brighton Blue was pitted against more than 3,000 cheeses from 35 different countries. Against some tough competition, it was recognised as one of the top 66 cheeses in the world, receiving a prestigious Super Gold Award.
The judging panel at the event on London on November 17, 2017 saw cheese experts including cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers assessing the cheeses on their rind, body, colour, texture, consistency and, above all, taste.
It’s one of our favourite cheeses to make at the dairy and perhaps the reason the judges rated it so highly can be traced to the most important ingredient – the care and attention that we put in to it.
A hand-crafted cheese
Although all the cheeses we make at the High Weald Dairy involve a lot of work from our skilled cheese makers, Brighton Blue requires an even more hands-on approach.
Mark explains: “At least two of us spend about three hours with our hands in the curds and whey, gently stirring it to expel surplus moisture from the curd, before draining the soft curd and adding to the cheese molds…generally there is a fight for this job!”
The cheese makers’ skill is in knowing, by touch, when the curds are at the right consistency to make the perfect cheese. The cheese is only lightly pressed because a more open texture, than for example a firm hard cheese like our cheddar-style Tremains Organic, lends itself to good veins in a blue cheese.
Each cheese wheel, or truckle, is pierced with stainless steel spikes so air can enter the cheese which allows the blue mould, added at the start, to wake up and create the magic mellow blue. It is then placed on the wooden slatted shelves of our cheese maturing room where it remains for up to three months. It is this maturating process that puts the blue in to Brighton Blue. During this time, the cheeses get more attention as we turn them three times a week to ensure an even distribution of moisture through the cheese and brush them down to keep the mould rind to a manageable level.
Brighton Blue flying high
It’s been a good year for Brighton Blue as in addition to winning Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards, it was Highly Commended in the International Cheese Awards and received a Silver in the British Cheese Awards.
It was also selected to be served as part of a British cheese board to passengers flying in Virgin Atlantic’s upper-class cabin.
If you haven’t tried our world class cheese yet, what are you waiting for? Brighton Blue is available from farm shops and delicatessens across Sussex and beyond or bought direct from us at the dairy or online.
If you get cheesed off at the idea of battling the crowds to do your Christmas shopping, why not head for the High Weald Dairy Mini Christmas Cheese Fest this year to pick up gifts for friends and family?
Our special Christmas event takes place from 10am until 2pm on Saturday 16th December and Sunday 17th December and aims to provide a more relaxing Christmas shopping experience than a dash around the high street.
You’ll be able to enjoy a taste of our cheeses and a glass of mulled cider or apple juice in our festively-decorated Cheese Barn at Tremains Farm in Horsted Keynes, while you browse the goods on offer. And we’ll even give you a sneak peek behind the scenes of our working dairy with a look at the cheese maturing room.
Heavenly High Weald hampers
You can pick up cheeses for your own Christmas cheese board and can make up hampers as gifts for friends and family with High Weald Dairy cheeses and other locally-produced goods including Black Pig Orchard ciders and juices, Ouse Valley chutneys and cheese biscuits from Horsham Gingerbread.
Hampers can be made up and taken away on the day or, for even less stress, let us deliver them by courier to friends and family further afield.
We’ll also be selling vouchers for our popular one-day cheese-making course – the perfect gift experience for food and cheese lovers.
How to find us: The Cheese Barn, High Weald Dairy, Tremains Farm, Horsted Keynes, RH17 7EA
For more information call: 01825 791636
We’re thrilled to share a quirky short film that has been produced for us by Sister Sarah performing arts company which reveals what we all knew already – that the only way to a woman’s heart is through cheese!
The film was produced following our sponsorship of Sister Sarah’s stage production, Stories of Serendipity, a contemporary dance and storytelling performance exploring unexpected, coincidental and magical encounters by Sarah Hutchinson.
You may have noticed that the name of the performing arts company shares its name with our delicious goat milk cheese and it was Sarah’s timely discovery of our cheese that led to the start of our relationship with her – our own story of serendipity!
Sarah explains: “I had just concluded a meeting with my manager where he proposed the name Sister Sarah for my company – inspired by the so-named character in the musical Guys and Dolls.
“I was giving it consideration as I walked into a health food shop and my eyes fell upon Sister Sarah goats’ cheese, made by High Weald Dairy. I saw it as a sign that the name was a winner and, with a production date looming, also thought it was probably a good idea to give High Weald a call!”
An opportunity not to be missed
Sarah got in touch with us and asked whether we would consider a reciprocal arrangement whereby she would make a short film to help us market our cheese in return for financial support to enable her to take Stories of Serendipity to Edinburgh.
We jumped at the chance and are pleased to say that her Edinburgh run was well received with one review describing the piece as: “theatre that has a quiet magic to it, and brings out your sense of wonder” (Dedee W).
We’re pleased to support Sarah, not only because she has produced a wonderful film to showcase our cheese, but because of her mission to create positive social change through performance and participatory events, including masterclasses at schools and colleges through the charitable arm of the company, the Sister Sarah Trust.
Find out more about Sister Sarah performing arts at www.sistersarah.co.uk
You can watch Formaggio d’Amore, Sister Sarah’s film for the High Weald Dairy, above and, if it inspires you to buy cheese for a loved one, why not take a look at our cheese selections available to order online?
While we were working on our new High Weald Dairy website, we thought it would be a good time to commission a short video to give customers a bit of insight in to what we do and who we are.
Fortunately for us, help was on hand in the shape of one of our Canadian relatives, Charles Shepherd, who has recently graduated from Humber College with a Batchelor of Applied Arts in Film and Media Production.
Although Charles has had experience of working for other people, the film for the High Weald Dairy was the first independent project he has produced.
Charles visited us at the dairy while he was in the UK this summer to learn about the business and capture the shots he needed for the film, which is now displayed on our home page. We love the result and think he has captured the dairy beautifully.
He said: “A key reason I got into media was so I could go find inspiring people and help them to tell their stories. I love learning about different people and different lifestyles, and then I love sharing what I’ve learned with other people.
“Although I’ve been on set numerous times, this was still my first independent project and my first job in the UK, which meant buying some new technology, so honestly there were some challenges I hadn’t anticipated. However, Mark and Sarah have been super supportive all the way through. They’ve given me lots of room to experiment, practice new techniques and just really push my skills. I think the results reflect that investment.
“Your first independent project is a huge deal, so I’m hugely thankful that Mark and Sarah were my first clients. Thanks to this job, I know that I can and will keep doing jobs like this for clients big and small. I want to keep telling people’s stories, because big or small, we all have stories that are worth celebrating. Here’s to great stories and great cheese.”
Watch Charles’ video above or on the High Weald Dairy homepage.