27 Dec 2010

Croatian ewe's milk cheese tops Manchego

Pag sheep forage on rocky island pastures
A Croatian ewe’s milk cheese, which has just been launched in the UK, is outselling Manchego at one of the first retailers to stock the creamy hard cheese.

The Cheese Hamlet in Manchester has seen sales of Paški Sir or Isle of Pag Cheese outstrip Manchego since it started listing the cheese, while the Cheese Society in Lincoln said that it was also proving popular with customers. 

The pasteurised cheese is made by Sirana Gligora using milk from the Pag breed of sheep, which produces milk with high fat (9%) and protein (6.5%) levels. The sheep forage among the rocky pastures on the island, eating wild herbs such as Dalmatian sage.

Gligora marketing manager Simon Kerr, who moved to Pag with his Croatian wife last year, told FFD that the company was in discussions with several British distributors and wanted to expand sales among independent delis and cheese shops.

Gligora Dairy employs 26 people and produces over 50 tonnes of Paški Sir a year, as well as over 150 tonnes of other cheese products. The milk is sourced from over 200 shepherds on the islands.
* First published in the Cheeswire section of Fine Food Digest's Dec 2010 issue. Click here

20 Dec 2010

Good Auld Cambus O'May

Aberdeenshire cheesemaker Cambus O’May has launched two new cheeses and is looking to grow sales in London ahead of a move to new premises.
Alex Reid with his mother Barbara 

The company, which was set up in 2009 by Alex Reid, launched a smoked cheese called Auld Reekie, smoked by the Deeside Smokehouse, and a 6-12 month aged cheddar-style cheese called Auld Lochnagar at the BBC Good Food Show in October. Both are hard cheeses made with unpasteurised cow’s milk and join the company’s three other products: Lochnagar, Lairig Ghru and the original Cambus O’May.

Currently located at the former home of the Craigmyle Cheese Company in Torphins, Cambus O’May was due to move to a new 400sq m facility on the Dinnet and Kinord Estate in the Cairngorms National Park in September, but this has been delayed until the spring of next year. 
It currently produces around 300kg of cheese a week and supplies wholesalers including IJ Mellis, Clarks and GR Fine Foods. Retail customers include Peckham's and Paxton & Whitfield in London.

“We are currently talking to Paxton about taking more of our cheese and perhaps wholesaling for us in London,” said general manager Scott Sutherland-Thomson. “We plan to target London next year when we have more capacity and can build up enough volume to make distribution worthwhile.”

First published in the Cheeswire section of Fine Food Digest's Dec 2010 issue. Click here