© Bord Bia
Ireland's famed farmhouse cheeses are widely available throughout the UK at selected Sainsbury's and Waitrose stores, as well as at delis and specialist cheese shops. There are over 100 different varieties of cheese in Ireland, from crumbly blues to both soft and hard cheeses made from a variety of cow’s, sheep and goat’s milk. Here's a guide to some of the best...
The French have Roquefort, the Italians have Gorgonzola, and the Irish certainly have their signature blue cheese in Cashel Blue, with a particular sweet, tangy flavour and sumptuous creamy texture. For a different blue cheese experience, Crozier Blue (made with sheep's milk) has a distinctive, pronounced, yet smooth flavour.
Durrus is produced on the wild Atlantic coastline of West Cork. Made with unpasturised Friesian cow’s milk, it reflects its rugged environment with a full-on bacony, sea salt flavour and moist, velvety texture.
Goat’s cheese lovers will adore the sweet, fresh, floral flavours of St Tola. Made in the unique surroundings of The Burren, from organic raw goat’s milk, this delicate cheese can be eaten fresh or matured, when the texture dries slightly and the flavour becomes more pronounced. It is also an excellent cheese to cook with.
Forget Stinking Bishop! Ardrahan is a stinky washed rind gem with a soft, rich texture and a well-rounded, earthy, smoky flavour which grows more robust and tangy as the cheese ages. It's not for the faint-hearted, but cheese connoisseurs love it.
Cooleeney is made like Camambert, but is still very much its own cheese. Smooth and robust, with tastes of oak and mushrooms, it has a long, slightly tangy finish. When ripe, it has a thick, velvety melting texture.