The agricultural show season is underway, and that for us is always a bit of a thrill. We get to exhibit our cheeses, and in some cases, sell them too. Meeting customers face-to-face provides great feedback for us, as do the comments from judges up and down the country. News from the Devon County Show got things off to a very pleasing start with great wins for all three of our cheeses:
- Hard pressed cheese other than Cheddar – 2nd Prize for Cornish Kern
- Single speciality cheese- 2nd Prize for Cornish Yarg
- Cheese with additives – 1st Prize for Garlic Yarg
Not an agricultural show but just as important, the Taste of the West Awards have just given us Gold for both Yarg and Kern this year. Another lovely boost for our skilled cheesemakers.
Now we look forward to the Royal Cornwall Show in the second week of June,and the marvellous one day Stithians Show in July – see you there!
We look forward to these few short weeks every year, when the ransom leaves – or wild garlic as they are more often known – spring into action in our woodlands. We start picking at the end of March and well into April to ensure we pick the greenest, healthiest and tastiest leave with which to wrap our truckles. The smell is heavenly – heady but never overpowering. The flavour they add to our Yargs is a gentle yet distinct one. Have you tried some yet?
We are excited about 2017. It is going to be the year in which many more of you can get your hands on our award winning new cheese Cornish Kern. Up until now, our stocks have been limited but we’ve been working hard and this spring should see a much wider availability. Hooray to all that!
When Lynher Dairies started making Cornish Yarg thirty years ago, not many across the Tamar had heard of it. Now of course, it’s a star of the artisanal British cheeseboard both at home and abroad, and it was from this standpoint that Lynher decided it was time to start developing a brand new cheese.
What’s now known as Cornish Kern is made in the same open vats as Yarg and, like Yarg, is pressed and brined. And there the similarity ends. Kern is coated in a protective black wax like rind and is matured for between 14 and 18 months, hence its longer journey to the marketplace. The resulting cheese is quite flaky and almost dry with a profound and nutty flavour. Deliberately quite different to the younger, curdier Yarg, Kern is more intense and what the World Cheese Award judges of 2016 deem worthy of the coveted ‘Supergold’ – in other words, one of the best 66 cheeses on the planet.
We can’t wait for you all to try it!
Yarg’s low melting point means it is a versatile ingredient – and we’re not just talking popping a slice onto a barbecue burger, delicious though that is. Our recipe pages are full of simple ideas but Yarg works in more challenging ideas too.
Top Cornish chefs (and plenty across the Tamar too) use Yarg in ways we would never have imagined. James Nathan of St Enodoc Hotel at Rock spent a day with us at the dairy to find out more about the science behind our cheesemaking, followed by a tasting session with owner Catherine Mead.
Have a look through our recipes page to find ideas from Ken Symons, Angela Hartnett, Neil Haydock and others. None of the dishes are out of reach to the amateur cook. If you come up with something of your own, let us know! You’ll find us on Facebook and @cornishyarg on Twitter.
50g butter, melted
1 small onion
275ml/10fl oz whole milk
1 bay leaf
40g plain flour
1 tsp English mustard
6 tbsp double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon of thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 200C/Gas 6. Brush butter into small ramekins, make discs of baking parchment to pop in the bottom, brush butter over the discs. Place on baking sheet. Put the onion into a saucepan with the milk, bay leaf and peppercorns. Heat gently for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Stir flour into the remaining melted butter, return to the heat and cook for a minute, stirring. Remove from heat. Strain the milk into a jug – measure 250ml of milk. Top up with fresh if necessary. Discard onion, bay and peppercorns. Add the milk to the flour and butter paste gradually to avoid lumps. Cook for 2 minutes, bringing to the boil, stirring constantly until the sauce becomes smooth and thick.
Add the Yarg and mustard and continue to cook for a further 1–2 minutes more until the cheese melts. Stir in the thyme and season to taste. Be plentiful. Cool the mixture for five minutes, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time until thoroughly mixed.Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Stir a tablespoon of whites into the cheese mixture quite rapidly to slacken the mix, then fold the rest in gently, trying to preserve as much volume as possible while ensuring the white is properly folded in. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins until it almost reaches the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes until very well risen and golden-brown on top.
Remove the tray from the oven and leave the soufflés to cool in their ramekins. When the soufflés are cold, release them from their ramekins with a knife and turn them into your hand. Place them in ovenproof dishes upside down. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until needed. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Take the cling film off the souffles and sprinkle with Yarg. Spoon a tablespoon of cream over the top of each souffle. Place a sprig of thyme in the middle of each. Bake for 10 minutes until the soufflés are hot and the Yarg topping has melted. Serve immediately.
Tip: These are great with a little side salad of fresh leaves dressed with walnut
or hazelnut oil.
Try Yarg in these salad combinations:
Beetroot and fig
Cauliflower florets (blanched) with walnuts
Griddled chicken and thyme
Orzo, pine nuts and cherry tomato
Or make a Cornish Yarg dressing (in a mixing bowl place an egg, lemon juice, anchovy, yarg and vinegar and using a hand blender, slowly add enough olive oil to form a thick dressing).
Yarg has a low melting point so is the ideal cheese to crumble into bread, scone and biscuit doughs. Traditionalists, look the other way please, because this Easter, we’ll be eschewing the fruit and spices and adding Cornish Yarg and Parmesan to our Hot Cross Buns. Here’s how…
- 700g strong bread flour, plus extra 5 tbsp for crosses and dusting
- 3 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast
- 500ml warm whole milk
- 140g Cornish Yarg, well crumbled
- 5 tsps Parmesan
- Mix flour, yeast and 2 tsp salt in a big bowl. Make a well in the centre, pour in milk, mix with a wooden spoon, then your hands, to a soft dough. Knead for 10 mins, then put back in the bowl. Lightly cover with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm-ish until doubled in size.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in most of the cheese. Dust a large, flat baking sheet with flour. Shape the dough into 12 round buns and arrange on the sheet with a 2-3cm gap between each. Loosely cover with another sheet of lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove until nearly doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the 5 tbsp flour for the crosses with the Parmesan and 5 tbsp water. Spoon into a disposable piping bag and pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to make crosses. Bake for 20-25 mins until golden.
30g plain flour
½ pint of stout
300g Wild Garlic Yarg grated
1tsp Dijon mustard
Generous amount of Worcester sauce
Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour and cook through. Gradually add the stout whisking it all the time to make it smooth, cook until sufficiently thickened then add the cheese and mustard and remove from the heat. Cool the mixture in fridge
Spread thickly over sliced sourdough and place under a hot grill until it is golden and bubbly.
30g plain flour
⅔ pint of milk
300g Cornish garlic yarg grated
1tsb Dijon mustard
Whole grain mustard
Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour and cook through. Gradually add milk whisking it all the time to make it smooth, cook until sufficiently thickened then add the cheese and mustard and remove from the heat. Cool the mixture in fridge
Butter the sourdough on both sides. Spread the cold cheese sauce over one side of the bread, layer the ham on top, spread with whole grain mustard, grate on a little extra Yarg and close with the other half of bread.
Preheat the oven to 200 and bake for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is golden and bubbly!
All you need for this winning winter warmer is some good sourdough bread, butter, Yarg (try both the nettled and the Wild Garlic) and a sprig of thyme or sage.
Put a frying pan on medium low heat.
Butter two slices of sourdough on both sides. Generously sandwich grated Yarg between and press.
Add butter, a splash of oil and the thyme to the pan.
Put the sandwich in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted in the middle.
1kg apple, peeled cored and chopped
1kg shallots, coarse dice
2 bulb garlic, cloves peeled and halved
1kg fresh tomatoes quartered
600ml cider vinegar
500g dark brown sugar
Spice bag should be tied in muslin cloth
Ginger 2 thumb sized pieces
2tsp black peppercorns
Take a large stainless heavy bottomed saucepan. Add all the ingredients and slowly bring to a simmer stirring from time to time.
Simmer for 2-3 hours to achieve a chutney like consistency. (A good test is you should be able to draw a spoon through and see the base of the pan).
Transfer into sterilised jars.
Store in the fridge for at least two weeks to mature before enjoying with Yarg and home baked bread.
You probably don’t need a recipe to make macaroni cheese, but our Wild Garlic Yarg adds a subtle garlicky hint that makes it a great choice.
30g plain flour
⅔ pint of milk
300g Wild Garlic Yarg grated
1tsb Dijon mustard
Bring a large pan of heavily salted water (think salty as the sea) to the boil, drop in macaroni and a splash of oil, stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook to al dente.
Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour and cook through. Gradually add milk whisking it all the time to make it smooth, cook until sufficiently thickened then add the cheese and mustard and remove from the heat. Stir this into the macaroni.