Leagram Organic Dairy
PRODUCER: Leagram Organic Dairy, Lancashire
PRODUCT: Organic Mature Lancashire
REGION: North West
CATEGORY: From the Dairy (Artisan)
WHAT THEY DO
Set in the village of Chipping, Leagram Organic Dairy was established in 2000 by Bob Kitching and is now run by his wife Christine and daughter Faye (Bob sadly died in 2013 aged 61). Bob, who had over 30 years’ experience in the dairy industry, wanted to make cheese on the site where Lancashire cheese had first been made commercially. Today the dairy makes a range including Double Gloucester, Red Leicester, and a native Organic Mature Lancashire.
The dairy sources organic raw milk from local farms, with cow’s milk from an organic farm’s Holstein Friesians, sheep milk from a local herd of Cheviots, and Boer goat’s milk from a small farm in Cheshire.
Following the simple ethos of, “if we look after our curd, our curd will look after us”, all Leagram Dairy’s cheeses are made by hand. First the milk is gently pasteurised, then a starter culture and vegetarian rennet are added. Curds are cut using traditional tools that are over 120 years old, and kept moving while the whey drains. Salt is mixed in manually then the curds are packed into moulds and mechanically pressed. The cheeses are dipped by hand in wax then left to mature.
Leagram Organic Mature Lancashire is a cheese that celebrates the region, being made with local products by a team of local people. Bob was passionate about sharing his knowledge of cheese and gave demonstrations across the country, a mantle Faye has now taken up, and the dairy houses a museum for visitors to learn about the history of cheese.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judges admired the provenance of this cheese, being made on-site in a small dairy using traditional methods. Leagram was praised for supporting the local economy through sourcing and its work hosting visits to champion local produce.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: cheese-experience.com