The Fletcher family began milking their first ewes in 1989. Their original intent was to sell fluid milk to local shops and markets but soon after they started, a neighboring merchant convinced them to try their hand at cheesemaking. The first batches of Berkswell, named after a nearby town, were loosely based on the recipe for the Welsh cheese Caerphilly, but the technique has transformed over time into a vastly different recipe.
Tender curds ladled into basket molds create the unique "flying saucer" shape that Berkswell is known for. The thin rind, marked with indentations from the basket, captures the essence of minerals and wet earth. Beneath the rind is a firm paste, the color of freshly churned butter. The first taste is salty and bright, with an intriguing sweetness at the finish that is sometimes reminiscent of pineapple or Meyer lemon.
Farm / Company: Ram Hall/Neal's Yard Dairy
Cheesemaker: Julie Hay
Proprietor: The Fletcher Family
Affineur: Neal's Yard Dairy
Region: West Midlands
Milk Type: Sheep
Milk Treatment: Raw
Aging: 6-9 months
Size(s): 5 pound wheel