Taste of the Week
Coolea Irish Farmhouse Cheese
In 1979, Helena Willems, longing for the cheese she'd known at home in Holland as she couldn't find anything like it here at their new home in Ireland, took out a little pot and began experimenting in the kitchen.
Encouraged, she took it a bit further and now Coolea cheese is a big name and much of the output is sold at the famous Neal's Yard in London while in Ireland Sheridan’s are the major customer.
The cheese was to be called Milleens after the local townland but that was knocked on the head as the Steeles, further west on the Beara peninsula and living in a townland of the same name, had just started making a cheese called Milleens. And so the Coolea brand was born.
It is firm and smooth, a pressed uncooked Gouda style cheese. Early on the flavours are caramel, nutty and floral but they become more robust as time goes on, sweeter if anything and still carrying traces of its delicate youth. A gorgeous cheese and well worth watching out for. Very suitable for cooking and indeed is ideal for melting
I am enjoying a wedge of Coolea at the moment. This is matured, is sweeter than in its young mild and creamy phase, and it is Taste of the Week. Was part of my order to Margo Ann in the English Market's Roughty Foodie and delivered to the door with a lot of other great Irish produce.