A famous West Country cheese that’s genuinely a farmhouse cheese. The Davies family have been making Dorset Blue Vinny at Woodbridge Farm for almost 40 years. Dorset Blue Vinny takes over 24 hours to make. Each morning, they use fresh milk from their herd of 270 Friesian dairy cows. Once it’s been pasteurised, it is hand-skimmed and the starter culture, rennet and penicillin mould added, it’s then ready to be made into cheese. Once the milk sets it is cut into small pieces before being left overnight, when curds and whey will have formed. The whey is drained off leaving the curd to be ground, salted and put into moulds where it stays for a few days, before being moved to the maturing room. The cheeses need to be turned by hand every day for the first few weeks and then once a week after that. The cheeses are spiked with long narrow pins to allow air into the cheese which helps the mould grow and flavour to develop. It can take up to 20 weeks for the cheese to mature into the Dorset Blue Vinny that we all know and love. This comes wrapped in Dorset Blue Vinny wax paper for that extra touch.
Dorset Blue Vinny was feautured in the Observer Food Monthly in February:
'Dorset Blue Vinny was once a staple of West Country farmhouses. For centuries, the crumbly blue cheese was made from milk left over once the cream had been skimmed. According to legend, farmers stored their mouldy horse gear nearby to inoculate the milk. But the introduction of the Milk Marketing Board in 1933 meant milk was collected and sold wholesale, leaving no leftover skimmed milk. In the 1980s, farmer Mike Reid came across a 300-year-old recipe. He experimented at the family’s Woodbridge Farm in Dorset’s stunning Blackmore Vale, and demand grew. Today Mike’s daughter Emily runs the operation. The cheese has protected geographical indication status, meaning it can only be made there, with milk from their 250 holstein friesians. They don’t supply supermarkets, preferring independent shops.'