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    Say Cheese in Ireland

    Celebrate National Cheese Day, June 4th 2021 by saying “cheese” and taking a bite into the Cheesiest Irish Trail…..

    Producing farmhouse cheese is a craft that has been honed on Irish family farms since the 1970’s.

    Irish farmhouse cheeses are the product of unique interactions between people, place, passion and pasture. Irish dairy is unsurpassed, and so it goes without saying that a lot of Irish made cheese is superb.

    The Irish farmhouse cheese revolution was born back in the 1970s, when a clever philosophy student called Veronica Steele eloped with a Wittgenstein professor to the windswept Irish Western peninsula of Beara, where they had was a one-horned cow called Brisket. Veronica managed to make a soft washed, orange rind cheese from Brisket’s milk, which tasted of cream, mushrooms, and smoke and they decided to call that cheese Milleens.

    Cheese stall at Saint George’s Market, Belfast City © Tourism Northern Ireland

    Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Co. Tipperary.

    Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers is a family-owned business focused primarily on the making of blue cheese. Its cow’s milk cheese is branded Cashel Blue in which there is an organic offering, while its sheep’s milk cheese is called Crozier Blue. All of their cheese is made, matured, graded and selected at Beechmount Farm, close to the historic town of Cashel in County Tipperary.

    Cashel Cheese © Photographer: Tony Pleavin © Tourism Ireland

    Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese, Co. Meath

    In 2016, a 200-year-old stone building on the Mullagha Farm in Slane, County Meath, was converted into a cheesemaking facility for Boyne Valley Farmhouse Cheese. A new cheese was developed. Boyne Valley Bán is a white goat’s cheese similar in style to the French Tomme cheese. In 2018 Boyne Valley Bán won gold and ‘Best Irish Cheese’ in the British Cheese Awards, received 3 stars, and was nominated for a ‘Golden Fork’ award in the Great Taste Awards.

    St. Tola Goat Cheese, Co. Clare

    Meet Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith and the team at St Tola Irish Goat Cheese in County Clare on the Burren Cheese Trail.

    St. Tola Goat Farm at Maurice’s Mills in Ennistymon, County Clare have been producing handmade, award-winning and critically acclaimed artisan goats cheese and small batch cheeses here since 1978, all fully traceable from farm to fork. Visit the 65 acre working farm, meet the animals, learn about their sustainable farming practices and of course taste the mouth watering cheese.

    While St. Tola is renowned for all its goat’s milk cheeses, make sure to sample the ones that have made it famous, which are the chevre styles; the creamy young log with its hints of lemon, and the slightly more mature Boucheron-style version with its bloomy rind and its buttery interior.

    If you’re looking for a fun foodie stop along the Wild Atlantic Way, St Tola is a fine spot! St Tola Goat Farm is also part of the Burren Food Trail. The Burren is a scenic limestone region in North County Clare, famed for its wild beauty, inspiration to nature lovers and artists and a thrill for those seeking adventure. But it is also a great place for foodie lovers. There is great range of artisan food producers in the area as well as excellent places to eat and quaint Irish pubs.

    Saint Tola Goat Cheese © www.bordbia.ie

    Burren Gold Cheese, Co. Clare.

    Burren Gold Cheese at Aillwee Burren Gold, Ballyvaughan, County Clare, is a firm textured Gouda style farmhouse cheese made in the traditional way and using milk from the neighbouring farm. Visit the farm shop at Aillwee Cave, see the cheese being made and taste the different flavours of cheese on the Burren Cheese Trail.

    The ‘Burren Gold Cheese at Aillwee’ story continues to be told for over 35 years. From April to October, their talented cheesemaker, makes 85 kilos of beautiful semi soft farmhouse Gouda style cheese every day. The milk that produces our award-winning cheese has, since 1985, comes from the Friesian herd at Davoren’s of Caherconnell. Their cows graze on the wild Burren grasses and herbs, just a stone’s throw from Aillwee Mountain. They produce six flavours of Burren Gold – Plain, Smoked, Black Pepper, Cumin, Piri Piri and Garlic & Nettle. As they guide you through the process, savour the young and creamy to the truly exquisite 1 and 2 year old mature cheeses. You will learn how cheese is pasteurised, how the curds are separated from the whey, see how they achieve that familiar Ditch inspired Gouda shape and the reason why they wax the cheese the way they do.

    Burren Gold Cheese, Co. Clare © bordbia.ie

    Ballyvaughan Farmers Market, Co. Clare.

    Established in 2003, the bustling and vibrant Ballyvaughan farmers market at St. John’s Hall in Ballyvaughan, County Clare is recognized as a premium food market with wholesome quality food from local producers.

    Gregans Castle Hotel, Co. Clare

    Also featured on the Burren Cheese trail is Gregans Castle Hotel in Ballyvaughan County Clare, which offers award-winning fine dining. Serving creative and modern dishes using fresh, local ingredients. Delight in the signature dish of pickled beetroot & St. Tola Goat’s Cheese Ravioli with Burren Smokehouse trout and avocado.

    Gregans Castle Hotel, Co. Clare © https://www.gregans.ie/

    Donegal Farmhouse Cheese, Co. Donegal. 

    Situated in the picturesque parish of Kilcar, South West Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way, Noreen and James set up Donegal Farmhouse Cheese in November, 2018. They have a small farm of cattle and sheep and their dream was to diversify their farm and add value in different ways. Using traditional techniques, they produce a Semi Hard Cheese in the style of a cheddar from milk produced locally.

    Macroom Buffalo Cheese Products, Co. Cork

    Macroom Buffalo has Ireland’s first and only herd of milking water Buffalo. The farm in Macroom, County Cork is owned by Buffalo farmer Johnny and his wife Geraldine. They produce a variety of cheeses including Mozzarella, Greek-style salad cheese, and Haloumi. Macroom buffalo Mozzarella is made from fresh Buffalo milk produced on the farm which is turned into cheese and dispatched that same day. Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella has already made a name for itself in gourmet and food circles all over the country.

    Buffalo at Macroom Buffalo Cheese, Co. Cork © macroombuffalocheese.com

    On The Pigs Back – The English Market, Cork City

    ‘Cork Fayre with French Flair’ – On the Pigs Back was established in 1992 by Isabelle Sheridan selling Farmhouse Cheeses, Charcuterie, Fresh Breads, Irish Artisan Food, and French Gourmet Food Specialities in The English Market, in Cork City.

    Irish School of Cheese, Dublin. 

    For the real cheese lovers out there why not discover the Irish School of Cheese in Dublin.

    Cheese and Wine Tasting. Photographer Fennell Photography ©Failte Ireland

    Passionate about Irish Cheese & Good Food? 

    Plan your Taste of Ireland on your next vacation. Visit a family run farm, watch cheese being made using traditional methods and visit a local farmers market.

    Our qualified team at Specialized Travel Services can arrange your very own “Taste of Ireland” – We can incorporate luxury vehicles, local guides, fantastic food trails, Irish Whiskey tours, cookery demonstrations and fine dining to match your taste and interests.

    Whether you choose a private chauffeur guided tour, or specialized self-drive itinerary, or some family foodie fun reunions, we can put together a unique Taste of Ireland Culinary adventure customized just for you, your family and your friends. The journey across the scenic Irish countryside on your way to visit a farmhouse cheese-makers is one of great anticipation of the treasures that lie ahead.

    For your perfect private gourmet travel experience around the Emerald Isle contact Specialized Travel Services by sending us an email to newyork@special-ireland.com or complete our contact form. 

    Get a flavor of what we can arrange for you by sampling one of our culinary tours – Fresh, mouth watering flavours, passionate suppliers and authentic traditions handed down through generations – Why not get tucked in and come and experience Ireland’s food for yourself – and make sure to be watchful of food waste along the way!

    Leopardstown Farmers Market, Dublin © Tourism Ireland

     

    #MeetTheMaker #FillYourHeartWithIreland ☘️🧀

    Note: Featured image at the top of the blog is of Sheridan’s Cheesemonger in Dublin. Photographer: Carnets De Traverse. © Tourism Ireland

     

     


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      Photo Gallery

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      Goats on Beara Peninsula © Arthur Ward & Tourism Ireland
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      English Market Cork City © Tourism Ireland and Tony Pleavin.
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      Cashel Blue Cheese © Tourism Ireland and Tony Pleavin

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