First came the wild garlic leaves and now the nettles! We needed lots more pickers this year so we took to social media to ask if anyone wanted to join us for the annual forage and we were inundated with offers. Hooray (but also, why wouldn’t you want to earn money, help create stunning cheese and be in the great Cornish outdoors at the same time?)
Cornish Yarg and Wild Garlic Yarg are perfect examples of seasonal cheeses. We might make them all year round but their story really starts with their natural rinds. The proliferation of fresh leaves – both nettles and ramsons – that fill the Cornish woodlands and hedgerows in spring are Yarg’s starting point. We gather in tonnes of the very greenest (judging by shape and perfection too). These leaves are then frozen to be used through summer, autumn and winter…and then we pick again.
Fields around the dairy burst with new grass growth too, giving our carefully selected local herds a great start to the seasonal year.
Here’s to renewal, warmth and lots of fresh air!
Did you know…
• that in the three weeks between March 5th and April 5th
2019, 15 pickers collected 1256kg of wild garlic leaves with which to wrap Cornwall’s famous Yarg cheeses?
• this works out at 70kg of wild garlic leaves a day!
• all the leaves came from one woodland – and we didn’t even leave a dent in it
• the nettle harvest begins in earnest on April 29
• we will have a six week window in which to forage a minimum of 2.6 tons of nettle leaves!
• our picking team will increase from 15 to 52 pickers for this mammoth task
A great place to start when learning how to cook with Yarg is by baking a batch of scones. Get the children involved and present them to mum for an original home-made present (which are always the best!).
Rub 500g white flour, 1 tsp bicarb of soda, 2 tsp cream of tartar, pinch of salt and 125g cold unsalted butter until it’s like fine sand. Add 100g of grated Wild Garlic Yarg or crumbled Cornish Yarg, mix briefly and then add 300ml whole milk. Mix until it becomes a dough, press out onto lightly floured surface until 4cm thick (no rolling pins please!) and cut into 12 scones. Top with more Yarg and bake at 180C for 20 mins until pale golden. Eat warm with plenty of butter and more Yarg!
With thanks to the talented bakers at Copper Spoon in Marazion.
Are you planning a wedding this year? If so, we bet you’ve already had the discussion about cake or cheese tower (don’t stress about it too much, you can always go for both!).
Cornish Yarg and Wild Garlic Yarg both have stunning rinds, which is what the wedding cheese tower is really all about. More often viewed from the side, you will want your guests to be wowed by texture, colour and design. Using both Yargs (in different sizes) works stunningly well. They have contrasting patterns, different shades of green and just as importantly, distinctly different tastes.
Contrast them with a soft cheese with a creamy rind, and, if it’s a big gathering, consider a harder farmhouse cheese with a dark wax outer – don’t forget our World Champion Kern here! We sell it in 4kg truckles so this would be the perfect base.
Please do get in touch if you want to discuss possibilities. We love to talk weddings!
Nettles are extraordinary leaves. Not only do they impart a particularly delicious earthy depth to our fresh young Yargs, but they can also help with:
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- hay fever
The list is longer, but you get the gist! So if your resolution is to eat more healthily this year, you could do a lot worse than reaching for the Yarg when you’re after a snack. Home made bread and a smidgeon of butter is allowed too (in our book anyway).
Happy New Year, everyone!
Gone are the days when the Christmas cheeseboard could be solved by a cursory supermarket sweep. Interest in British artisan cheese has soared in the last decade helped by small producers like us. It’s a friendly industry to belong to. We meet up often, and are always interested in each others’ working processes and techniques (not to mention the tasting sessions). So it gives us a real sense of pride and pleasure to see Yarg, Kern or Stithians included on a festive cheeseboard. We hope some of our cheeses have found their way on to yours and that you enjoy every crumb. We’ll be suggesting what to do with any leftovers in the new year (not that you’ll have any!).
Happy Christmas, everyone.
Shopping for award-winning cheese is easy! With Cornish Yarg, Wild Garlic Yarg and Stithians now available straight from our dairy in all sorts of sizes, shapes and combinations, there’s something for everyone. We offer a choice of delivery dates to any address in the UK with the option of a message if you’re sending it as a gift. Contact the dairy on email@example.com if you need any help.
Our special edition Stithians cheeses
Our customer research told us you wanted to be able to buy Stithians more easily so this winter, we’re going to be selling our Stithians cheese in 900g baby truckles direct from our dairy online shop.
Affectionately known as ‘Naked Yarg’, Stithians is made to the same recipe as Yarg but left to mature without being wrapped in leaves resulting in a fresh, young cheese with lemony hints. A creamy, delicate taste makes it a delicious and versatile cheese for sharing. We also make Stithians in larger wheels, leaving them to mature for much longer which creates a harder cheese with deeper flavours and more farmhouse in nature.
Check out our new shop page now!
Here’s one of our favourite culinary ways to celebrate the change of season – Sam’s famous chutney recipe!
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
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, Kern or Stithians – and home baked bread, naturally!
Back to work, school, real life – it’s a drag after all that relaxed outdoor living. Experts say you can keep the holiday feeling going by employing the same habits you enjoyed over the summer. If you are anything like us, that means simple, good food with little or no preparation. Think picnic. Apple, Yarg, a chunk of good bread – job done (oh, and young children love to boast that they eat nettles for lunch!)