• Iona

A Visit to Michael Lee, Purveyor of Fine Cheeses

Michael Lee, the man himself

Michael Lee, the man himself

One fine, sunny day last week, Lydia and I set off down the A1 and M1 to Michael Lee’s place of work.  They have been there for around two years – on a new, purpose built industrial estate.  He has a HUGE cold room, a good sized cutting and packing room and a spacious (and warm) office.

It was fascinating for us to see the other cheeses that Michael stocked, from British cheese makers some of whom we know and are friendly with, to completely new varieties from the continent; then there was the beautifully packaged vanilla pods, deli style items including tomatoes in olive oil, anchovies – I haven’t seen anchovies in years!  Shades of Futurama there.

We met Terri for the first time – putting a face to a name that places orders with us, and the good man himself – Michael.

We did a cheese (and chutney) tasting with Michael and Terri and introduced five of our new cheeses, making notes with Terri as we went along so that she could

Michael, Terri to the right and Lydia in front

Michael, Terri to the right and Lydia in front

 update their literature about us. 

Until this point, they had no idea that we made so many cheeses!  This is beginning to be a common theme wth our customers and why I feel it is so important to visit and let people know, and more importantly, taste our range of cheeses that are so different: from natural rinded and matured cheese, to a young and fresh goat gouda, to two blue cheeses, to our waxed 2kg truckles.  And let’s not forget our range of little mini cheeses and chutneys.

We took tasters of eleven (out of fifteen) of the cheeses we make, including five of our new cheeses:

Natural rinded matured wensleydale – cloth bound straight out of the press and matured for 4 months; milk from a single source pedigree herd of Friesians

 Natural rinded matured goat cheese – cloth bound straight out of the press and matured for 4 months; goat milk from a single source from Hackfall Goats

Blue Wensleydale: natural rinded, matured with a buttery, rich and creamy flavour, offset by the slightly acidic blueing

Blue goat cheese: natural rinded, matured with some serious blueing and

Our new Yorkshire Gouda: I think this was the star of the show – seriously creamy, great, soft unctuous texture and very fresh tasting – not at all goaty; in fact, Michael said, if you were not told that this was a goat cheese, you might not notice.

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