The Bath Soft Cheese Company
The Padfield family have been a leading name in cheese-making within in Bath for over 100 years, with a revival in 1993 that has lead to numerous awards for both cheese and hospitality. After our food-development team enjoyed a tour around their dairy-farm and restaurant, it’s easy to see why The Bath Soft Cheese Company has gained worldwide recognition.
Completely organic, handmade, and family run, The Bath Soft Cheese Company crafts cheeses that mix the old with the new. From their signature Bath Soft Cheese that dates back to the late 1700’s and was coveted by Admiral Lord Nelson to the innovative Merry Wyfe, everyone has a favoured cheese for a sandwich or a late night snack.
Hugh Padfield, MD of Bath Soft Cheese Company, revealed that he couldn’t choose just one cheese; with The Wyfe of Bath being deliciously easy to eat, the gooey Bath Soft Cheese being the one he is proud to eat, and for later in the evening, he can’t resist the Bath Blue Cheese.
Of course, the milk is where this product starts and, with 220 cows grazing over 600 acres of the area around Kelston, the milk that they produce is incredibly sweet and rich. After the milk is collected, the cheese-making process begins. The milk is pasteurised, coagulated by hand and then the curds are cut. Let’s take a little look into what makes each cheese stand out:
Bath Blue is the cheese that showcases the high-quality of the milk that goes into it. Whilst not as quick to ripen as a soft cheese, it’s not left as long as the hard cheeses as this dampens the quality and subtle flavours in the milk. Once the water has been squeezed from the cheese under its own weight, the outside is sealed with a knife in hot water, and 200 holes are made by hand, give or take depending on the density of the individual cheese. The blue then develops at the same rate as the milk matures into a fine cheese, resulting in a cheese reigned the Supreme Champion at the 2014 World Cheese Awards.
The Merry Wyfe
Washed in a 97% salt and cider brine every other day for four weeks, The Merry Wyfe has a distinctive crust, and a nutty, creamy interior. This cheese has won gold at 3 cheese awards: the World Cheese Awards, the Artisan Cheese Awards at Melton Mowbray, and the Global Cheese Awards in Frome.
Bath Soft Cheese
A wonderfully gooey cheese with a mushroom-like taste, the Bath Soft Cheese leaves the cheese rooms within just 2 weeks, and is perfect to eat after 4 weeks. The magic of this cheese is that, when eaten earlier, it’s lemony in taste and a little crumbly, turning more gooey the longer it is left to mature. It reaches perfection when it can be spread like butter, and also makes a great cheese for baking as well. This is the most plentiful and popular cheese produced, with the factory capable of creating up to 1000 in just one day.
Each of these cheeses are a delight by themselves with some crusty bread and a bottle of wine! However, our Head Development Private Chef, Sam, also had a great time creating three exciting dishes with each cheese for our Bath Soft Cheese 3-Course Meal. If this sounds like something that you would like to try out at home, then follow our recipes here or see how we created them on our Instagram here.