Hampshire Cheese Company is an award-winning artisan cheesemaker which can give any continental competitor a run for its €. The company has joined those producing the best cheeses in the world, and that must surely be something of which to be proud.
It’s the home of the celebrated Tunworth and Winslade cheeses, which will be worthy additions to any smart cheese board. They are crafted from milk from the local farm, using traditional methods and in French-style ‘bassines’. The wrapping-paper and box presentation makes these rounds gift-quality and that thoughtful pressie will be welcomed by any true food lover.
Note that I say ‘true’ food lover. For years I have listened to British foodies extol the virtues of almost anything that hails from mainland Europe. I have lived in France and I can tell my dear reader that I have had some of the worst meals of my life in La Belle France. Meat so undercooked that a good vet would have that steak cantering round the kitchen in a couple of hours. I have had cheese which was not aged but was just dry and old. They can flog such rubbish to tourists. If you seek outstanding food, then you might be surprised to find just what you are looking for much nearer home.
Prestigious cheese accolades
Well, OK, I am being dramatic, but the Hampshire Cheese Company is first rate, and these days we need to support our producers – we must use them or lose them. They have bagged the most prestigious cheese accolades, including Supreme Champion in the British Cheese Awards, Best Soft Cheese in the Great British Cheese Awards, and Super Gold Medal at the World Cheese Awards, among many others. They supply Tunworth and Winslade cheeses to Michelin-starred restaurants throughout the world, such as Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and the very ritzy Ritz. They grace the cool-cabinets of food emporiums such as Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and iconic Harrods.
Hampshire Cheese Company was founded by Charlotte Spruce and Stacey Hedges, who made the first Tunworth prototype in her domestic kitchen. Tunworth is a British Camembert. It’s a classic soft, white-rinded cheese and won’t disappoint those who love the famed continental version. It has its own character, though: Tunworth is still made entirely by hand and sports a soft, delicate and wrinkled rind, an enticing savoury aroma, and a lingering hazelnut taste. Serve this with some crusty bread and a glass of red. Delicious!
Winslade is the second cheese from the Hampshire Cheese Company. It took over five years to present this unique round which is a child of Vacherin and Camembert. It is girdled by a spruce collar which gives each Winslade its characteristic hint of forest. It is carefully aged, and that maturation results in a distinctive pinkish blush and a mottled rind. It is milder than Tunworth and works well with a selection of hard and strong cheeses. Eat this one first to take advantage of its subtle complexity.