"Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese is an award-winning handmade cheese and made by just one producer, Simon Jones of FW Read & Sons in Alford, Lincolnshire"
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Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese is an award-winning handmade cheese made from unpasteurised cow’s milk. It is made by just one producer; Simon Jones of FW Read & Sons in Alford, Lincolnshire.
With a very distinctive taste which is slightly sweet and nutty, the flavour of the cheese changes from season to season. It is a delicious hard cheese with a smooth texture, described as being a cross between West Country Cheddar and Gruyere.
A slow maturing cheese which takes between 12 and 24 months to ripen, Lincolnshire Poacher is made using traditional methods on the family farm. Only milk from the farm’s Holstein herd is used. The cows are milked in the afternoon – this milk is refrigerated overnight and is then transferred to cheese vats the following morning. The cows graze on lush, organic grass. However, it cannot claim to be an organic cheese, as the cows are fed some non-organic foodstuffs (Simon’s philosophy is that he would rather support the UK market by buying non-organic British products, than buying organic soya from China or Brazil).
Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese is a firm favourite and can be bought in speciality cheese shops, delicatessens, farmers’ markets and some supermarkets. Varieties include traditional Lincolnshire Poacher, Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher, Double Barrel Lincolnshire Poacher (matured for between 24-36 months!), Smoked Lincolnshire Poacher and Lincolnshire Red. You can even buy Lincolnshire Poacher butter!
Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese was invented by dairy farmer Simon Jones in 1992. On returning from agricultural college to the family farm in the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds, Simon decided to try his hand at small scale cheese-making. After attending a cheese-making course and doing extensive research on successful cheese dairies in South West England, Simon felt he was ready to take the plunge.
On 12th February 1992, Simon made his first batch of cheese, with the help of Dougal Campbell, a Welsh cheese-maker. The recipe for Simon’s cheese was based on Dougal’s very own Tyn Gryg cheese.
This new cheese proved so popular that local shopkeepers had to ration their customers to just a quarter of a pound per purchase!
It wasn’t long before Simon had to employ a full-time cheese maker, Richard Tagg, and in 1995, a larger cheese dairy was created on the farm to cope with increased demand.
Simon’s brother, Tim, joined the family firm in 2000 to take charge of the business and marketing side of things.
Lincolnshire Poacher is a winner – just see for yourself!
British Cheese Awards
Bronze: 1994/95; 1999/00; 2000/01; 2005/06
Silver: 1995/96; 2004/05; 2007/08; 2008/09; 2010/11
Gold: 1997 /98; 1998/99; 2001/02; 2002/03; 2003/04; 2011/12
Best Export Cheese: 2006/07
Supreme Champion: 1996/97
Best Modern British Cheese: 2009/10
Best Flavour Added Cheese: 2009/10
World Cheese Awards
2000/01 Best British Cheese
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