Throughout May, as part of the Discover Farmhouse Cheese programme, two Tipperary cheesemakers will be among those opening their doors and gates to the Irish public. All farm visits are free to attend but you must book your place online. Two of these farm visits will take place in Cooleeney Farm, Thurles on May 13 from 10:00am to 12:00pm and in Beechmount Farm, Fethard on May 15 from 10:30am to 12:30pm.
At Beechmount Farm, the home of the Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers, you will be welcomed by Helena Koci. Visitors will watch a comprehensive video of the cheese making process at Beechmount Farm. This will be followed by a detailed tasting of both farm cheeses, Cashel Blue (Ireland’s first farmhouse blue cheese) and Crozier Blue (Ireland’s only sheep’s milk blue cheese) involving tastings from milk through to fully mature cheese including curds from that morning’s production.
The Maher family of Cooleeney Farm are pleased to welcome you to their farm nestled in the heart of Tipperary and surrounded by rich deep peaty pasture. People are invited to come visit Cooleeney Farm and experience first-hand, the story of Cooleeney farmhouse cheese – the milk and dairy herds, the small batches and commitment to taste, the quality and dedication to making some of the finest artisan products.
The Discover Farmhouse Cheese programme is an EU co-funded campaign organised by Bord Bia, which is a celebration of farmhouse cheese in Ireland. Cheesemakers from across Ireland will open their doors and farm gates to the Irish public from April to October. Discover Farmhouse Cheese is encouraging people to visit one of the farms and experience first-hand, the story of farmhouse cheese – the milk and dairy herds, the small batches and commitment to taste and quality, and the cheesemaker’s dedication to making some of the finest artisan products.
Farmhouse cheeses have a wide variety of styles to choose from with some taking years to reach perfect maturity. A distinctive feature of farmhouse cheese produced in Ireland is that all farmhouse cheeses created here are unique to each producer - a characteristic which is markedly different to the Continent where many farms and dairies produce the same cheese under strict guidelines to ensure consistent standards (e.g. Camembert).
Eimear O’Donnell, Consumer Dairy Sector Manager, Bord Bia said: “The cheese revolution in Ireland has been steady and it has succeeded for a very simple reason - the 50 farmhouse cheesemakers throughout the country who make the cheeses do so on their own farms, so the cheese speaks of their land, their milk, their labour, their passion”.