The Bath Soft Cheese Co. | Maker of The Month
Our cheese maker of the month is one of the best producers in the UK and makes one of the most enjoyable cheeses for this time of year. In 1990, Graham Padfield decided to start making cheese at Park Farm and chose to make the Bath Cheese. Mentioned in several historical texts, including a letter to Admiral Lord Nelson dated 1801, Bath Cheese had become extinct until Graham Padfield revived it from an old recipe.
Park Farm is just outside Bath next to the river Avon; here his cows graze the lush river meadows to make milk for this delicious cheese.
The farm is entirely Organic and the milk is collected daily from their own herd of approx. 160 mainly Holstein Friesian cows. They don’t use fungicides, pesticides or artificial fertilisers on their land. They instead work with manure and organic compost so that the land and the waterways remain uncontaminated.
As mentioned before, Bath Soft Cheese dates back to the time of Admiral Lord Nelson who, in 1801, was sent some by his father as a gift. It was recorded that Nelson’s sweet heart was ‘gratified’ by the flavour of this cheese!
It is made with pasteurised English cow’s milk and it is suitable for vegetarians. This brie-style cheese is soft and yielding with a white bloomy rind. Once cut, it reveals an ivory coloured interior. The flavour is mushroomy and creamy with a hint of lemon.
Being mould ripened, it develops flavour with age. When young it is chalky with a clean piquant taste, but with time it will soften. When completely ripe it is runny with a strong mushroomy aroma.
BEST AGE & SEASON
The humid seasons of Autumn, Winter and Spring encourage the white mould to grow. Summer cheeses are drier and slower to ripen.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SERVING
Bath Soft Cheese is beautifully presented with a red wax seal and looks great on any dinner table. Melt over mushrooms and serve with a rocket salad. It pairs excellently with Champagne and other sparkling wines.
It should be stored in the fridge, tightly wrapped in cling film but brought to room temperature before serving.