Milk curds, the stuff of cheese
“You need to be a bit mad to make cheese.”
So says Hans Wieland of The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.
I do believe that he counts himself in this. When he and his wife Gaby started making cheese from the milk of their own goats over 20 years ago, they built a kitchen for their cheese making before they built a house for themselves.
I learned this and a lot more besides when I headed to Leitrim last weekend to attend a hugely instructive cheese making course run by Hans and Gaby, during which we were taken through the processes of making both hard and soft cheeses and given an insight into the practicalities of small-scale commercial cheese production.
There is at least one legend which holds that would-be assassins tried (but failed) to kill St. Patrick with poisoned cheese. There are a number of conclusions which we may draw from this, to wit:
– St. Patrick was fond of cheese.
– He knew a dodgy cheese when he tasted one.
Therefore, what better way to celebrate the feast day of our patron saint than to include a platter of Irish cheese as part of the Paddy’s Day Food Parade. And not just any cheese, but a selection of fine Irish raw milk cheeses, because I can guarantee, given that Louis Pasteur was far from born at the time, that St. Patrick’s cheese board would have been filled with nothing but cheeses made from raw milk.
Selection of Irish raw milk cheeses