Hebden Goats cheese is made on the farm by Gillian and her ten (yes just ten!) goats. The cheese is slowly set before being moulded and aged for three weeks. The wrinkly rind breaks down to a smooth paste and rich goaty and grassy flavours.
Gillian Clough only started making Hebden Goat cheese in 2015. A Radiography lecturer, Gillian has a love for goats, particularly Anglo Nubian goats – big, floppy-eared goats famed for their rich milk, which is great for cheese making. Buying a smallholding (called Ten Acres after it’s size!), she set about breeding these goats as a hobby, whilst her husband, Tim, keeps a few rare-breed sheep.
The goats and sheep all feed out at pasture on the Pennine hills high above Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire. Farming seasonally (they only make cheese spring to autumn) the goats are fed from the pasture and using forage made on the farm, which helps add to the richness of the Anglo-Nubian milk, and allows it to show its provenance.
Being brought up on poor quality supermarket cheese meant that Gillian had no real interest in cheese. But after the first round of breeding, her goats were producing milk in quantity. So looking for something to do with it, she enrolled on renowned cheese expert Ivan Larcher’s cheese-making course.
Returning to her home enthused, Gillian’s husband Tim set about building her a small one-person dairy on the bottom floor of their house. This small dairy allowed Gillian to make a light fresh-curd cheese (called Gat), and she soon discovered that, blimey, she loved it! She’d discovered how good cheese could taste.
Gillian visited The Courtyard Dairy in 2015 and impressed them with the quality of the milk produced on her farm. So we set about encouraging and working with her to develop a brand new, lactic goats cheese. A year later, and Hebden Goat was born. Since that it has continued to improve and was notably featured on Tom Kerridge's BBC TV series.
Every morning Gillian gets up and milks her ten-goats. She then adds a tiny amount of lactic starter bacteria and rennet to the milk, before going to work in her day job as a lecturer at Bradford University. By next morning the long set of the milk has happened, which means after that day’s milking, yesterdays set milk can be ladled into moulds and left to drain. Aged for 2-3 weeks, Hebden Goat cheese then develops the wrinkly yeast rind (geotrichium) that is natural to goat milk. This breaks down the firm texture of Hebden Goat to provide a rich, creamy goats’ milk cheese, unique to the Yorkshire Pennines.
This product will have two weeks shelf life from the date of delivery.
Nutritional Data (typical values, per 100g):
Fat 26.5g (of which saturates 18.7g)
Carbohydrates 4.3g (of which sugars 0.7g)
Weight: 1 x 100g cheese.