What could be better than a European cheese tasting trip? Imagine nibbling on raw, blue Roquefort in the glamorous French Riviera, or enjoying a perfectly paired Percorino and Barolo while taking in the quiet, rolling hills and rustic beauty of northern Italy’s Langhe region. But, there’s one hidden gem that most wouldn’t think of when it comes to the European culinary talents of cheese; Wales. That’s right most visit the British country to push themselves to their limits and traverse its rough, mountainous terrain. But Wales is a hidden gem for all you foodies out there looking to taste some unlikely cheesy treats, particularly as Wales is not a fan of playing by the rules. Some of their cheeses boast of highly unique ingredients including horseradish and mustard seeds, giving the finished product an unlikely and delicious taste. So, if you’re ready to take your cheese tasting adventures on the road, then take a trip to Wales and sample these five standout kinds of cheese.
Many consider Harlech the holy grail of Welsh cheese. For anyone who is a fan of very strong, tangy cheddars then this could be your new favourite. Coated in orange wax and mixed with parsley and horseradish this tangy and powerful flavour will leave your mouth feeling delicate and your tongue tingling after one simple taste. Many native to Wales use the distinct taste
to melt on indulgent meats like beef steaks, or others use it as an extra kick to an omelette or salad. Either way, its best to wash it down with a refreshing glass of ale and feel as though you are one of the Welsh Warriors of the middle ages, who this cheese is named after.
Harlech retails at £6.23 per 200g
Y – Fenni
Mustard seeds and ale two products that most wouldn’t put together. If you were to find a mustard seed flavoured ale many would turn their noses up at the overpowering taste. But mix them together with a piece of cheddar cheese and you’ll find yourself with a new and welcome addiction. If your mouth is already watering from the very idea of a small slice of this Welsh treat then on your next trip to Wales take a look in some artisanal cheese shops and find the locally sourced cheese with the green wax.
Y – Fenni takes its name from the South West market town of Abergavenny in South East Wales. A place many explorers use as a base to adventure into the unforgivable terrain of the Brecon Beacons.
Y – Fenni normally retails for around £3.45 per 100g.
A trip around Wales to sample some of the finest Welsh cheeses would not be complete unless one Caerphilly past your lips. This is one of the oldest of Welsh cheeses as it originated from a small town with the same name in 1830, so they’ve had centuries to perfect the recipe. The crumbly recipe is similar to cheddar and was said to have been made specifically for coal miners as it was easy for them to eat with bare hands and replaced lost nutrients from hours of toiling underground. Like cheddar, Welsh locals melt it onto a variety of dishes including baked potatoes and salads. If you would rather partake in some fine dining with the perfect wine pairing then lean towards the nutty quality of a white burgundy.
Caerphilly normally ranges at around £6.75 for 250g
Red Leicester has cheese lovers divided. Some are drawn to its creamy texture, where others prefer something with a little more flavour. Well, this is the perfect mix and likely to convert any of those against the cheese.
Encased in a deep, rich red this cheese has been matured for 18 – 21 months to create the perfect texture and complex taste, with nutty after tones. This cheese has only been released to the public since 2014 and what it lacks in age it makes up for with flavour, handcrafted in the north of Wales. Pair with a deep merlot for the ultimate cheese and wine flavour.
Red Storm normally retails at £4.95 per 200g
A cheese that has won an abundance of fine food awards including Supreme Champion at the British Cheese awards 2010. This semi-soft cheese is washed in cider which gives it a far more unique and pungent flavour, with a smooth texture.
Golden Cenarth has been made by the Carwyn Adams, on the family farm for over 40 years spanning six generations of cheese makers. The original recipe was developed because of a piece of Caerffili that was left to age longer than it should have done. Carwyn noticed the softness of the rind and a strong pungent texture and thus Golden Cenarth was born.
Sold in individual packages for around £7.50 each
If you are a self-confessed foodie then letting your culinary prowess determine your next adventure seems like the obvious solution and what could be better than exploring the gentle countryside of Wales and indulging in a little cheese related fun. There’s far more out there than these five, and it’s the perfect place to discover a new love of old favourites.