With St. Patrick’s day only a few days away, we wanted to put the spotlight on some of our favorite Irish cheeses! Irish cheesemaking is relatively young to the world, unlike the ancient practices of France and Italy. But that certainly doesn’t make them any less delicious – Ireland had a vast history of buttermaking, so dairies were already up and running before the cheese started flowing. In fact, Ireland’s lush and rich pastures make it the perfect place to milk cows and create rich, grassy cheeses. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites, ready for you to devour just in time for St. Paddy’s Day!
The Lonergan Family farm, in the heart of Ireland, is made up of 15 expansive fields on which their cattle graze. With fresh grass from April to October, the raw cow’s milk is cheddared and wrapped in a traditional cloth binding. After almost a year of aging, the 15 Fields cheddar still retains that sweet grass notes in its compact, smooth paste. More intense notes of nuttiness and bold meatiness grow the closer you get to the rind, balancing out that delightful sweetness and acidity. A true farmhouse cheese from the Emerald Isle, enjoy with a farmhouse ale.
You know the story already, about how the Grubb family was kicked out of England 300 years ago for religious differences. The Grubbs made their new home in County Tipperary, Ireland, taking up millering and buttermaking. To this day, Louis and Jane still keep the family’s dairy traditions alive. In the mid 1980’s, they developed the first Irish Blue, nurtured and exported by Neal’s Yard Dairy. Cashel is made with the milk of the Grubbs’ 110 Friesian cows, pasteurized, and ripened for two and up to six months. It maintains a unique, voluptuous, creamy texture with a minerally undertone complemented by a delightful, mild blue tang. The best cheeses are made from April to October when the cows are out to pasture – and hey, what do you know? That’s which wheels we order!
This is one of those cheeses that totally tastes like the place it comes from (hint: it’s called terroir!) Cow’s milk picks up a sunny pigment from the lush pastures growing in southeast Ireland’s temperate climes, known as the “Garden of Ireland.” Buttery and grassy, with sweet and fruity flavors, and kept moist with an ever-so-Irish green wax. Slice it for sandwiches, melt it on noodles, or munch it with pickles – honestly, whatever you decide to do with it will be delicious. The perfect creamy pal for a mug of stout or Irish Whiskey. Like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but better (because it’s cheese)!