Rollright is a multi-award winning washed rind semi-soft cheese which has been handmade by David Jowett of King Stone Dairy in Little Rollright, Oxfordshire. It has only been in production at King Stone farm since March 2015 and has been on sale to the public since July 2015.
The cheese is the new venture for David who was previously making cheese at Gorsehill Abbey, the producers of St Eadburgha. Previous to his cheesemaking days, David worked part-time for Paxton & Whitfield in the Stratford shop whilst training to be a chef. The milk used to make the Rollright cheese comes from nine different breeds of cows which make up one herd on the Farm. The herd is made up of 120 cows and 70% have got Brown Swiss in them. David believes it is the mixture of breeds which, amongst other great attributes, gives the milk its balance and high quality. The herd grazes on white clover from pastures which were previously farmed under organic principles.
Having previously been a rich coloured cheese with a moist rind, Rollright has taken on a new look this spring with two permanent additions. The first being a peachy rind, resulting from a lighter wash in a brine solution which minimises the depth of the rind and makes it dryer and less pungent. The second addition to the new style cheese is a cambium strap designed to combat the spreading of the cheese and to ultimately make for a cheese which is easier to handle. Cambium is the soft layer between the bark and the wood, and in this case is sourced from a sustainable spruce forest in the Jura Mountains.
Although the idea behind the new Cambium band was not to alter the flavour of the cheese, it has naturally created a delicious herbaceous and pinewood flavour particular closer to the rind. The cheeses have also become richer and more buttery with crème fraiche style flavour. Textually the cheese has become more yielding and very glossy. The outside of the spruce may develop patches of white, blue and grey moulds, this is nothing to worry about but it is a natural part of the maturation and ripening of the cheese.
As the band is vital to the structure of the cheese it is the intentions of the cheesemaker that the band is kept on at all times including when the cheese is cut. The Spruce band can be cut though easily with a long sharp knife, however it cannot be cut with a cheese wire. It is advised that the cheese is cut as one would a cake. Rollright is now the perfect soft cheese for those who love a deliciously indulgent artisan soft cheeses but are not so keen on overly pungent French style soft cheeses.