World Cheese Encyclopaedia - Each Sunday learn all about a cheese in season.
This week Cerney from the UK.
Country: Great Britian 🇬🇧
Made from: Goat’s milk
Taste: Citrusy, mild, lemony tang
Aging: No - shelf life of 4 weeks.
Cerney Cheese is made in the Cotswold just north of Cirencester. It is the brainchild of Lady Angus who has developed the recipe since 1983, drawing on the traditions of Valencay cheese from the Loire valley.
Cerney is a medium fat soft goat's cheese. The cheese is shaped like a truncated pyramid coated with oak ash/sea salt mix. It takes 3 days to make the cheese and has a shelf life of approximately four weeks. When 1 or 2 weeks old, Cerney has a soft mousse like texture and a fresh mild flavour. The cheese develops deeper flavour as it ages. The shape and production of Cerney is very similar to Valencay, but the taste is very different with less of a goat flavour. The cheese is available in many different varieties including peppermix rolled, brandy washed and fresh rounds intended for grilling.
Cerney has been consistently awarded gold, silver & bronze medals at the World Cheese Awards. It has also won the popular title Supreme Champion in 2001 at the Global Cheese Awards. This celebrated cheese has won Super gold award at the 2014 World Cheese Awards. It has been judged as one of the world's 62 best cheeses.
Cerney Cheese was started and continues to be run by Lady Isabel Angus. She developed a love of French cheeses whilst living and holidaying in France. Her particular favourite was the Valencay type, which she set about producing. The first step was to persuade a local French farmer's wife to impart the basic rudiments of cheese-making- not easy with limited language and cheese-making skills.
Armed with the basics, Isabel started her long and occasionally fraught experimental phase, aided by her two trusty goats Bonnie and Bella. Production and the herd of goats soon grew. The intention was never to sell to the public - just to make use of land and enjoy the feeling of self-sufficiency.
However, after moving to North Cerney in 1983, a local villager persuaded Isabel to let him sell twelve cheeses. They flew off the shelves. Cerney Cheese and the Pyramid was born. The butler’s pantry at Cerney House was the initial production site but as the business grew premises moved to Chapel Farm in the village. This is where the cheeses are still made today by the wonderfully industrious Avril Pratt. The cheeses however remain true to the original hand-made recipe and process.
How to enjoy it
Cerney can be paired with either Dry Whites such as Chablis, Loire Sauvignon (Sancerre), or Gavi or with Medium Reds such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais.
Source: Cerney Cheese, cheese.com, Paxton & Whitfield