Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Graham Clark
Features Writer
10:39 AM 13th February 2021

Shepherds Purse Artisan Cheeses - The Big Cheese In Yorkshire

Thirsk based company Shepherds Purse is a family run business that has grown organically over the years. Having started by making cheese only from sheep milk, they extended the range to include cow's milk and even water buffalo milk cheeses. Today, they are best known for the blue cheeses Yorkshire Blue and Harrogate Blue, and for the sheep milk Mediterranean salad-style cheese, Yorkshire Fettle, as well as the sheep milk blue Mrs Bell's Blue.

Yorkshire Blue and Harrogate Blue
Yorkshire Blue and Harrogate Blue
I wondered how they would deliver the cheese in a good cool condition without damaging the cheese. Firstly though, it is easy to get carried away when you see all the tempting cheese they offer on the website,. You can almost smell the cheese when you see how good the cheeses look.

Your cheeses will arrive in a cardboard box. Inside your cheeses are wrapped around Woolcool insulation that is made from 100% sheep’s wool, used in conjunction with iced gel packs that means your purchase arrives fresh and intact. The life of the Woolcool does not end there though as you can recycle it and re-use if for potting baskets, hanging baskets, cushion stuffing, draught excluders, pipe lagging or protecting plants from frost.

Tempting though it is to want to try some of the cheeses as they arrive, it is best to wait to let them cool down so that they can be eaten at room temperature.

Harrogate Blue
Harrogate Blue
Harrogate Blue is one of my favourite cheeses - its golden body with the blue veins was very moist, robust with just a hint of salt, the mature taste was evident too. No doubt it had been aged for a few weeks. Moreish and seductive, it was one of the best Harrogate Blue cheeses I have tasted. So much so it was consumed in just over a day!

The Yorkshire Blue to me tasted a lot milder than the Harrogate Blue. If you are new to blue cheeses then this would be a good introduction - the creamy taste comes with a touch of sweetness - it too is one of the best Yorkshire Blue cheeses I have tasted. I intend to leave it a few weeks yet to let it mature even more and let the flavour deepen.

Fettle cheese
Fettle cheese
The Fettle cheese was a bit too mild for my tastebuds, though in reality it isn’t meant to be a strong cheese as it can be used in salads as opposed to eating it with crackers or on its own. If you like a good Wensleydale then this Mediterranean salad style cheese is the one for you.

To keep your cheeses fresh after you have opened them Shepherds Purse also have Beesewax Cheese Wraps - a reusable, plastic free alternative to cling film. They do smell a bit. I thought that the smell might impregnate the cheese but it doesn’t.

A great cheese selection to brighten up these late winter days leaving you far from cheesed-off!

Shepherds Purse Artisan Cheeses,
Leachfield Grange, Newsham, Thirsk YO7 4 DJ
Telephone 01845 587220