Wicked Wensleydale

As they say, the proof is in the eating.  You may remember back a couple of months ago that I made a wheel of Wensleydale cheese

Wensleydale wrapper

Now, because it was a special occasion yesterday (Lydia & Matt returning to the UK), I decided to taste test it after two months. 

The recipe suggested that maturation was between 3 weeks and 3 months, so I thought that it would be all right to give it a go.  I took it out of the wrapper that Kim had made,

Wensleydale wax

sharpened one of my longest knives and cut out a small wedge.  I picked it up and smelt the cheese, and I could not believe the heavenly odour!

Wensleydale wedge 1

The colour was a slightly yellow.  I had expected a pure white colour, so it was a bit of a surprise.  I loved the layer of sage through the middle.

Having never eaten Wensleydale before, I really didn’t have anything to compare it with, but all I can tell you all is that it was best cheese I  have ever tasted (not biased or anything).  Kim had the next taste and her eyes lit up.  She could not believe the flavour, and noted that the sage emanated through the middle of the cheese.  The texture was smooth and creamy yet firm in the mouth.  It had a subtle aftertaste that lingered for about 3 of 4 minutes.  So last night at about 9pm, Matt and Lydia enjoyed some of the cheese.  They were highly impressed as well.  It went so well with the cider we picked up in Harcourt.  Happy days!

Wensleydale eaten

In fact I just savoured another piece with Kim and our friend Stacey, and it was unanimously judged as best in show!  Well it was the only cheese at the show, so it was bound to win their approval.  Gold medals all around!

So in 24 hours we have demolished a half a wheel.  I re-waxed the other half and will be leaving it for another month to see what flavours develop.  In the mean time, this success has inspired me to make some more.  Kim has requested Edam this time, and luckily I now have a recipe for it in my new cheese book “Making Artisan Cheese”.  I will have to give it a go next weekend.

Wensleydale half

What a great hobby I have stumbled upon!



  1. says

    Carolyne, thanks for the encouragement and I am glad you got something out of the post.

    I think you may be onto something there with reference to the video. It is about time I made another one!


  2. says

    I am so very excited to make my own as I read of your cheese-making adventures!
    I came over as result of your (outstanding) “Simple Green Co-op” post.
    Super photos….maybe a YouTube tutorial in your future plans?
    Thanks for the inspiration.


  3. says

    That is just awesome. I first read about making your own cheese in Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and have wanted to try it ever since. In the next two years I plan on trying it! Must come with such a sense of accomplishment :cD

  4. Cosmic says

    Oh well done Gavin! I hail from Wensleydale in the UK and was weaned on the stuff – yes Wallace eats the real thing. The taste is mild with a slightly sharp aftertaste. texture crumbly but soft, creamy and not dry, colour white to cream (often depending on the time of year and the cream content in the milk). It’s not generally waxed but I don’t see why not if it helps it cure. Now how about a nice Stilton? I wish we had some cheese making classes available in Tas. It looks like great fun.

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