Posted by: Richard Frost | 2 May 2020

Chorlton gets its very own cheese shop

Blind cheese tastingAmid all the doom and gloom around businesses closing due to coronavirus, it was a lovely surprise to hear of a new shop opening in Chorlton last week.

Chorlton Cheesemongers, located in the former Barbecue unit at 486 Wilbraham Road, launched on Saturday, 25 April 2020, and certainly seems to have gone down a storm among the people I follow on social media. Admittedly, they’ve had to rethink their business model to reflect the extraordinary times we’re living in, so as well as implementing the government’s social-distancing guidance in the shop and limiting entry to two customers at a time, they’ve also introduced delivery and collection services, which seems smart.

Their heart seems to be in the right place too – talking a lot on social media about wanting to help artisan cheesemakers (many have been hit hard by the closure of hotels, restaurants and bars across the UK and beyond), and not selling products made through intensive farming.

Virtual cheese tasting

I haven’t had a chance to visit the shop yet, but I was lucky enough to sample some of their wares at home yesterday during a virtual cheese tasting to celebrate the birthday of one of my friends, freelance photographer Gill Moore.

There were five of us in total – we each picked a cheese from Chorlton Cheesemongers, then arranged a group video call on WhatsApp to try the runners and riders blind, score them out of 10 and pick an overall winner. I was a bit dubious whether the format would work remotely at first, but I needn’t have worried, because it turns out everyone can cope with the odd technical glitch if it gives them more time to wolf down posh cheese.

Chorlton Cheesemongers cheeseboard ready to eat

As for the tasting itself, the five cheeses were:

  • Mrs Kirkham’s Smoked Lancashire (A)
    By Graham Kirkham at Beesely Farm in Lancashire
  • Harbourne Blue (B)
    By Ben Harris at Ticklemore Cheese Dairy in Devon
  • Innes Log (C)
    By Joe and Aimee Bennett at Highfields Farm in Staffordshire
  • St James (D)
    By Martin Gott and Nicola Robinson at Holker Farm Dairy in Cumbria
  • Stichelton (E)
    By Joe Schneider on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire

Champion of cheese

All five were very different and delicious but, after much deliberation, an overall winner was crowned – Harbourne Blue.

Tangy, creamy and sweet, this blue goat’s cheese was universally popular and scored a whopping 41 out of 50 in total, just pipping St James and Innes Log (both of which notched up 39 points) to the entirely made-up title of champion of cheese. Well done to its maker, Ben Harris at Ticklemore Cheese Dairy in Devon!

And well done Chorlton Cheesemongers for defying the doomsayers and taking the brave decision to open a new business in the most challenging of circumstances. We all need something to cheer us up at the moment, and if you love cheese as much as I do, then I’m sure you’ll find plenty to love here.


Responses

  1. Thanks so much for your great comments and look forward to seeing you in the shop soon.

    Liked by 1 person


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