Total Pageviews

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Knockalara A Special Sheep Cheese

Waterford has a tiny market, perhaps eight stalls and mainly devoted it would seem to Cupcakes and crepes, though I was pleased to spot a real baker, an organic vegetable stall and best of all Knockalara Farmhouse Cheese!

Agnes and Wolfgang Schliebitz together with their three daughters specialise In Sheep cheese at their Cappoquin farm in West Waterford and have developed an award winning range. They started cheese making in 1990 and twenty years of experience really shows in their cheeses all made from their own Friesland sheep.

Agnes was running the stall and, in addition to her own product, had some of my favourites from the Fermoy Natural Cheese Company so I snapped up Cais Dubh, St Gall and St Brigid, three cheeses with different properties. The Cais Dubh with its black rind –hence the name- is a robust tangy hard cheese, St Gall is a great cooking cheese and adds depth to any dish made with it whilst St Brigid is a semi hard cheese with a rich creamy taste well worth a place on any cheese board and amazing in a tart with Dill and fresh cream!

But it was the Knockalara that I really wanted to buy.

The most recent that I had came from the Great British Cheese Festival in Cardiff last September and I am certain that Agnes will have cheeses there again this year. Coming just a week after the Abergavenny Food Festival (15th and 22nd September respectively) these brilliant food events could top and tail a week in Wales for my Irish readers and allow time to really taste the great produce that we have here.

But I digress, I was in Waterford and talking to Agnes Schliebitz about her award winning Sheep Cheese.

Made only with traditional methods, the cheeses are hand-made using vegetarian rennet and top quality pasteurised milk, and does not contain any artificial ingredients, flavours or preservatives and are absolutely GM free.

Agnes makes a sheep cheese with Italian herbs - ideal for using in a salad, a few leaves, scallions, heritage tomatoes fresh herbs a good lemony dressing and cubed cheese with a little drizzle of extra virgin and there you have it.

Similarly the cheese in Olive Oil is a brilliant salad cheese, crumble it over a green salad but also eats well on a sandwich, livens up a pizza or focaccia bread and provides a sharpness to a well-balanced cheese board.

They may be small but their cheese is up with the best.

Sadly Knockalara do not have a website. The entry in the Irish Cheesemakers Association directory explains why “Travel into the heart of West Waterford, along winding country roads and over stone bridges, turn left at an old thatched cottage, through lush green fields and there you will find the Knockalara Cheese company”.

As Agnes said we are not only in a very rural setting, but at the end of the phone line and broadband does not stretch that far so we have neither the web nor email.

They can however be contacted at Knockalara Farmhouse Cheese, Knockalara,
Cappoquin, Co. Waterford or by phone at 024 96326

Visit UK Food Bloggers Association

No comments:

Post a Comment