PRODUCER: Kingcott Dairy, Kent
PRODUCT: Kentish Blue Mature cheese
REGION: London and the South East
CATEGORY: From the Dairy (Artisan)
WHAT THEY DO
Hailing from a long line of West Country dairy farmers, Steve Reynolds and wife Karen have taken the Kent dairy farm they bought in 1990 in a new direction since 2009, and today produce award-winning blue cheeses alongside milk and cream.
Animal welfare is a top priority for the business, with the family’s pedigree herd of Brown Swiss and Holstein Friesian cows being free to graze outside for 7-8 months of the year. Kingcott Dairy believes that “happy, healthy cows produce the best-tasting milk”, and they do not push for high milk yields. Since 2014 the dairy have been focusing on rearing Brown Swiss cows, which can be fed grass forage longer-term, naturally producing a superior milk for cheesemaking.
Steve, Karen and son Frank transform the unpasteurised milk on-site into blue cheese, it being Steve’s favourite type. This team of three run all operations on the farm, ensuring consistency of quality and are committed to continuing to farm in this manner.
Kentish Blue Mature, the business’s first product, has a natural mould-ripened rind, a mellow taste and creamy texture. It is sold through local shops, food fairs and wholesalers across Kent and the South East.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judging team in London and the South East recognised that making good cheese is not easy, and admired the family’s commitment to quality, from the use of unpasteurised milk straight from the farm to information about the cattle’s breed and grazing.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: kentishcheeses.co.uk