Velvet Cloud's Rockfield Sheeps Cheese
|Aisling and Michael of Velvet Cloud|
Mayo's Velvet Cloud are best known for their superb sheeps milk yogurts. It seemed that quite a few Irish chefs (including Martina Cronin at Blarney's Square) were just waiting for the product.
Gemma Murphy's use of it at Bellini's in the Maryborough Hotel was one delicious example. Her Warm Irish Carrot Salad with Charred Baby Gem, Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Yoghurt, Sesame, Lime and Honey Dressing was sublime and those carrots with that dressing were incredibly sweet.
And now those same chefs are getting into Velvet Cloud's Rockfield cheese, also made from sheeps milk. It is a hard cheese. I was expecting something mild, a bit like the Basque cheeses. This Irish cheese though is different, a superb creaminess, a sweet nuttiness and then that sharp kick. So you can see why the chefs could get creative with it.
I met Michael and Aisling, the couple behind Velvet Cloud, in Cork a few weeks back and they are very happy about the way the cheese has been received. The cream coloured interior of this cheese becomes firmer and darker as the maturing period is extended and the flavour becomes nuttier. Supply of our Taste of the Week is fairly limited this year and Cork buyers can find it in On the Pigs Back. Should be more of it available next year and probably more stockists as well.
Had my few paragraphs above written when I saw this weekend Facebook post by Velvet Cloud:
This is unreal!! The first awards we have entered it into and Rockfield by Velvet Cloud semi hard sheep's milk cheese has won SILVER at the WORLD Cheese awards in Bergen Norway this weekend !!!. So proud of our senior shepherd and cheese maker Michael, very few know how hard he has worked and he so deserves this recognition.