How we make our cheese
Our day starts early as grass rich milk arrives from our own herd of Ayrshires and other carefully selected farms. We pasteurise it, add a ripening culture and a rennet for setting. The timing is crucial. Our cheesemakers work with science and intuition, experience is key. Once set, we cut and stir, separating the curd from the whey until each piece is as small as a grain of rice. This increases acidity and fermentation.
We block and mill the curd and hand pack it into moulds. Once the cheese is pressed, we immerse it in brine overnight. After drying, we paint on the all important leaves on by hand. Leaf-wrapped Yarg takes about 4-5 weeks to mature, by which time a beautiful white bloom appears on the nettles, and the wild garlic darkens in colour. Stithians, known as Naked Yarg here in the dairy, skips this last stage.
Kern follows an entirely different process. It follows a Gruyere type recipe using Alpine starters and is coated in a breathable black wax. It takes 16 months to mature.