Next Generation Dairy Farmer in Kent creates Kingcott Blue, an Award-Winning Cheese. Peter Morrell has a taste
Kingcott Dairy in Kent is home to award-winning dairy farming family and cheese makers the Reynolds Family, who have been nurturing and milking a dairy herd for over 30 years.
Now next generation cheesemaker, 25-year-old Frank Reynolds, is making a name for himself with the farm’s newest cheese Kingcott Blue. The cheese has received industry recognition with 2 stars at the 2021 Great Taste Awards and a Gold award at the prestigious International Cheese & Dairy Awards.
Healthy, happy cows are of the highest priority and Frank, his dad Steve and his brother Archie care for the small herd of Danish Red cows, which produce a high protein milk, perfect for cheesemaking.
Both Kingcott Blue and their original cheese Kentish Blue are made on the Kingcott farm using unpasteurised milk straight from the cows, having travelled only ten metres to the cheesemaking room.
When the family were looking to add a new cheese to the range, Frank spotted that his peers preferred a creamy, more mellow, and smooth blue cheese. He set about making the newest cheese and the result was Kingcott Blue.
“Having worked out that I wanted to make a softer, creamier cheese, I then had to find the best way of making it. Because the moisture content is higher, it’s much more difficult to achieve the blue veining. We use a natural mould, the cheese is made entirely by hand and then left to mature for 6 weeks” explains Frank.
The Reynolds family is proud to be managing a small sustainable farm which produces cheese with provenance and authenticity. The herd is grazed on the fields most of the year and clover is regularly planted to aid carbon capture. “Having grown up on the farm, I have been involved in the day-to-day life on the farm for as long as I can remember, there is always plenty to keep us busy from feeding, milking, and bedding the cows to looking after the grazing land. We know all the individual cows and make all our cheese ourselves” says Frank.
Kingcott Blue is described as a soft centred, lightly veined blue cheese, with smooth even blue tastes. Chosen as the Taste of Kent Awards overall food product of the year for 2020 and now with accolades from The Great Taste Awards and International Cheese & Dairy Awards, Kingcott Blue has established its place as one of the finest cheeses to come out of Kent.
Peter Morrell, Editor comments “I have recently tasted Kingcott Blue, and it really is something special. The aroma alone tells you that it is made with unpasteurised milk, which gives it a lot of character. Eating the cheese at room temperature allows its full flavour to be released. It’s not a biting or salty blue but has a far more mellow taste. It has just the right amount of softness to spread on a biscuit, I would love to try this on a Bath Oliver with a glass of port. The finish leaves a long and satisfying aftertaste. Kingcott Blue is a must for any cheeseboard this Christmas.”
Available in 300g, 600g, 1.2 kg weights from kingcottdairy.co.uk or local independent shops and farm shops and all good cheesemongers in the Southeast.