A feta-like cheese with Persian roots
“Feta but better” is how David Holton describes Graceburn, the marinated soft cow’s milk cheese he produces along with his team at Blackwoods Cheese Company in Kent. It’s made a mere 20 metres from the organic dairy farm from which the milk hails, which is collected as it comes from the cow and over the ensuing two weeks, turned into Graceburn via a “lengthy brining process, according to a Persian feta recipe,” he explains. The result is steeped in cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil from Hertfordshire and, in the original recipe, a punchy combination of garlic, pepper, bay and thyme.
Feta, but even better still is how truffle lovers might describe the new festive edition of Graceburn, laden with black truffle and truffle oil. “It’s a really decadent Christmas treat,” says David of the jar, the label of which bears the heady description “luxurious black truffle meets luscious soft cheese”. “You can put it on brussels sprouts, salad, roasted root vegetables, toast, or just in a bowl as part of a cheeseboard.”
Graceburn is Blackwoods’ original cheese; the cheese that gave birth to the dairy back in the days when David and his co-founders were doing this part-time in Bermondsey. They’d moved there from Australia, where they’d worked in a local dairy in Melbourne—and the big cheese there was marinated or ‘Persian’ feta, the likes of which they couldn’t find over here. “There was nothing like it here, and yet it was really popular where we were from,” he says. “We thought we could make a bit.” The rest is history—history which continues to be made in this latest and most luxurious play on the founding recipe.