Vanilla milkshake

A thick, creamy milkshake from Bath Soft Cheese, made from rich, unhomogenised milk

For decades, the worst that could be said of milkshakes was that fast food behemoths were the main outlet for buying them: an accusation which could equally be laid at the door of apple pies and mozzarella sticks. Then Kelis came along and released one of those songs so repetitive, so laden with innuendo, they bore instantly into your brain, rendering it incapable of thinking about milkshake without adding the words “brings all the boys to the yard”.

So, we’ve met it head on. Yes, a milkshake from Bath Soft Cheese will leave you humming “la la la la la” for the rest of the day—but so will any milkshake, and if you’re going to pay that price you might as well go for one made from organic, unhomogenised milk and fairly traded Madagascan vanilla pods. Because, damn right, it’s better than yours.

There aren’t many producers that can achieve this level of thick-and-creaminess without using all sort of suspect ingredients—but then there aren’t many who use the sort of milk they get at the Bath Soft Cheese dairy. “The cows are grass-fed, reared outside on pasture in summer months,” says Jess at Bath Soft Cheese, “and the herd is rotated.” The farm is Park Farm in the West Country. It’s been in the same family for four generations, and their commitment to sustainable, organic farming is as strong as their bluest cheese.

Creamy and rich
“The ice cream is actually made for us specially in a farm up the road from Park Farm,” says Jess. They provide the equipment and expertise, Park Farm the milk fresh from the morning milking. “We pasteurise it gently, so it doesn’t affect the flavour, and it’s unhomogenised so it’s really creamy and rich.”

For her own part Jess prefers the strawberry flavour—“it’s refreshing, with real strawberry bits”—but we’ve been sold on the real vanilla pods: we can even see them in fact, freckled through the ice cream. And while for a moment we’re minded to ask exactly how it is made, we catch ourselves just in time to spare Jess the temptation of replying: “I could teach you—but I’d have to charge.”