Met Frank from the Fermoy Natural Cheese Company at the Cork Good Food Week and meant to get around to their products before now. The small company is found in Strawhall, Fermoy and makes Raw Cows Milk Specialty Cheese. Frank and Gudrun Shinnick are members of Good Food Ireland and CAIS (Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers Association).
They make five different cheeses: Cais Dubh, Cais Rua, Saint Brigid, Saint Gall and Hibernian. Hibernian is not easy to find but the others can be bought at the farmers markets (at Mark Hosford's stalls) and at the Pig’s Back in the English Market. Nash 19 also use them in their restaurant.
And indeed it was Mairéad from Nash 19 that directed me over to the Pig’s Back where I bought a wedge of St Gall. This is a hard Swiss type cheese and was certainly a hit in our house and I immediately added it to my short list of favourites.
St Brigid didn't go down as well – let’s say we had a disagreement. It is a semi-hard smeared ripened cheese and, though described as mild, is somewhat more pungent than St Gall. I certainly didn't find it overpowering, or anywhere near it, and would love to have it on my plate at anytime. Still, if forced to make a choice I would go for the five and a half star St Gall.
The Gudruns are an award winning couple as they picked up a Gold Medal double in the 2008 World Cheese Awards. The cheese is made from the milk of their pedigree Friesians who graze in the fertile valley of the Blackwater.
Now for the Cais Dubh and the Cais Rua!
Check out my review of Fermoy Natural Cheese Company - I am cork - on Qype