The cheese is a collaboration between specialist cheesemaker James McCall, with Mike Smales and Paul Thomas of Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers. The dairy where the cheese is made is located on Little Buckholt Farm, West Tytherly, Hampshire.
The cheese is washed using a traditional French culture and the milk to make it comes from the farm’s own herd of cows. The young fresh cheeses are matured for eight to ten weeks in James’ special temperature and humidity controlled cheese maturing room at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, Dorset.
The cheese is named after James Aldridge, a cheesemaker who was a key figure in the resurrection of farmhouse cheesemaking in Britain in the 1980s and 90s, who died in 2001. Francis was James’ unused birth name.
Francis has a wonderfully pungent aroma. Its texture is supple with a softness around the rind. It won Best Semi Soft Cheese, at the British Cheese Awards 2013.
Sarah says: “Francis is a delicious cheese to enjoy at this time of year as it is made from milk taken from cows that have grazed on rich spring pastures. It is perfectly complemented by our Apricot & Orange Confit as the fruitiness of the apricot pairs well with the creaminess of the cheese.”