Cais na Tire Sheep
Barry & Lorraine Cahalan make this unique cheese with sheep’s milk from on their small farm in County Tipperary. Cáis Na Tíre is aged on-site until it’s six months old. At this age it develops rich, toasty and caramel notes as the sweetness of the sheep’s milk starts to display: like the finest aged Peconrino and Manchego of the Continent.
In 2013 Barry Cahalan and Lorraine Davis left agricultural college to set-up on their own on family land in Borrisokane, north Tipperary (Ireland). Wanting to go into dairy farming but unable to afford the capital investment needing to set up a dairy farm they looked at other ways of setting up. Then they struck upon the though of milking dairy sheep, which requires much less investment and startup costs than building a cow dairy herd. So they set about building a shed, and then bought a handful of Lacaune and Friesland dairy sheep. Farmed seasonally from Spring to Autumn the sheep are kept out at pasture feeding on the fresh grass of the Tipperary plains.
They were lucky enough to be located close to, and good friends with, Marion Roeleveld, who makes the fantastic Killeen Goats Gouda. Working with Marion, allowed them to use her expertise of cheesemaking and use her cheesemaking facility, saving them money on startup. Soon, using the fantastic rich milk from their dairy sheep, a new cheese was soon born: Cáis Na Tíre. Not as supple as Marion's Killeen Gouda recipe (the curd isn't washed like Gouda), Cáis Na Tíre has a flakier texture and is similar to the hard sheep's milk Tommes of the south of France. Normally sold aged to three months, at The Courtyard Dairy it is further aged to 6 months before being sold, to ensure extra depth of flavour.
in 2018 Barry and Lorraine finally raised enough money to build their own cheese dairy on the farm and so, after spending a long time with Marion learning how to make Cáis Na Tíre, she handed the recipe back to them, and it is now made by them on their farm.
At present Barry and Lorraine only have 200 sheep, which means that only a very small amount of Cáis Na Tíre cheeses is made each week; it’s a rare find.
This product will have two weeks shelf life from the date of delivery.