Slow Food Slow Food Donate Slow Food Join Us
 
 
Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Onlus

Press Area  |  Italian  Italian

   
   
 
 
 
 
 
 

Slow Food Presidia


« Back to the Map

Irish Raw Milk Cheese - Slow Food Presidia
 

Irish Raw Milk Cheese

Ireland

Texts naming and describing the cheeses once made in Ireland’s lush green pastures date back to the eighth century, but the descriptions and names are extremely vague. However, we know that Irish cheesemakers once
produced a wide variety of cheeses: Tanag and Grus were hard pressed skim milk cheeses, Faiscre Grotha
was a fresh type of pressed curd cheese and Tath was made from sour milk curds. The diversity of the products can also be gauged by the coagulants referred to in old texts: animal rennet, both calf and lamb, was used, but also Irish moss (carraigin) and bog violet (mothan). In the 1970s an association of artisan producers reintroduced cheesemaking on a small scale in rural Ireland and this soon grew to thirty
small dairies. Driven by a mixture of idealism and the need to make a living from their farms, this new generation of cheesemakers drew upon skills and knowledge from all over the world. Using the same raw materials that served the ancient cheesemakers of Ireland so well, they began to make a diverse range of new
cheeses from local, fresh raw milk. Each cheesemaker developed products that reflected their own personalities, experiences and interests; Today, these cheeses are not only associated with a particular place but with an individual cheesemaker. Irish specialist cheeses have won international acclaim, but only a handful of the “new traditionalists” still use raw milk in the production of their unique cheeses. The Presidium will celebrate the distinctive merits of these cheeses and, by working to protect them for future enjoyment,
continue the revival of this island’s cheesemaking traditions.

Unlike many Presidia that concentrate on one particular product with distinctive properties from a specific geographical area, this project covers many different types of cheeses from across Ireland. The Presidium is made up of ten artisan dairies that work with their own distinctive style and techniques, but share a common commitment to producing a safe, high-quality product using raw milk from their own cows or nearby herds.
In 2005, the first draft of the production specification was written, laying down rules concerning the management of cattle, the source of milk and the cheesemaking process. The specification states that dairy herds should feed on pasture for eight or nine months of the year; that each batch of milk for cheesemaking comes from a maximum of three milkings; and that the distance between milking parlor and dairy is minimal. The Presidium is represented by a number of cheeses that are considered ‘ambassadors’ for Irish raw cow’s milk cheese; selected on the basis of their taste qualities. Only one cheese from each producer can be a representative at any one time. The purpose of this project is to encourage and support raw cow’s milk cheese producers throughout Ireland and to widen appreciation for this product. It seeks to celebrate the distinctive merits of Irish raw milk cheese, the environment from which it springs, its artisans and its varied styles of production. The objectives are to raise awareness among consumers, retailers and food policy experts of the quality of raw milk cheeses, and to defend the right of small producers to make raw milk cheese in Ireland.

Production Area
The entire Island of Ireland
10 cheesemakers

Breda Maher
Cooleeney Raw Cheese
cooleeney@eircom.net

Frank and Gudrun Shinnick
St Gall
gudrun1@eircom.net

Silke Cropp
Drumlin Cheese
corleggy@eircom.net

Maja Binder
Dilliskus cheese
majabinder@hotmail.com

Jeffa Gill
Durrus Cheese
durruscheese@eircom.net

Peter Thomas
Bellingham Blue
glydefarm@eircom.net

Lucy Hayes
Mount Callan Farmhouse
mtcallan@oceanfree.net

David and Mairead Tiernan
Glebe Brethan Cheese
dtiernan@iol.ie

Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith
St Tola Log Raw
info@st-tola.ie

Kate Carmody
Beal Raw Farmhouse Cheddar
cait@eircom.net
Presidium coordinators
Kevin Sheridan
tel. +353 469430373
cheese@eircom.net

Jeffa Gill
tel. +353 2761100
durruscheese@eircom.net

Colin Sage
tel. +353 214904339
fax +353 214271980
c.sage@ucc.ie

 


 
Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity Onlus | Partners Regione Toscana Regione del Veneto
 
 
 

Slow Food - P.IVA 91008360041 - All rights reserved

Powered by blulab