Buttery, rich and slightly tangy; Closed, smooth paste with a warming savory, almost spicy quality; Like the Welsh language, this cheese is wild, beautiful...and tough to put into words.
Country of Origin: UK
Milk Type/Treatment: Raw Cow
Rennet Type: Animal
The Flavor Experience
The name Hafod means 'summer pasture' in Welsh which could well describe the flavor profile of this cheese. Sam and Rachel Holden are making exceptional cheeses with Ayrshire cows milk—higher butterfat milk well suited for cheese making. The end result is a rich, buttery cheese with a finish redolent of garlic or freshly cut onion grass.
Hafod is made by Sam and Rachel Holden at Bylchwernen Fawr, the longest certified organic dairy in Wales. Hafod has been made since 2007 and was originally based on the Lincolnshire Poacher recipe which was in turn based on Welshman Dougal Campbell's alpine inspired cheeses. Sam and Rachel have modified the make slightly, consulting a recipe from a cheesemaking book published in 1917. This recipe calls for less starter cultures and a longer ripening period which leads to a more nuanced and balanced cheese.
Hafod would be great on a ploughman's lunch plate with a dried salami (smoked paprika or agrumi) and dab of mustard. Some dense brown bread would be nice. If you don't have a ready supply, try Sheridan's brown bread crackers. Wash it all down with pint of real ale from a growler you picked up from your local brewery. Oh, and hopefully you're enjoying all of this on a late summer/early fall day somewhere outside.