Yorkshire's Independent Restaurant Guide

Pextenement Cheese

From the window of the room I laughingly call my office I spend too much time watching contented cows grazing in lush fields. The 17th century farm just down the lane has been farmed organically by Alan Sutcliffe and his family for decades, and those happy cows produce milk sold within a 20 mile radius of this valley. Since 2008 his brother in law Carl has been making organic cheese in what amounts to a big chiller cabinet by the cowsheds. It takes the farm’s name, there are four varieties and they’re all absolutely delicious. Pexommier is a Camembert copy, gloriously, luxuriously runny; Pike’s delight (named after Stoodly Pike the local landmark you can just see on the hill) a nutty hard cheese matured for at least three weeks, and my fave, a soft, tangy, curd-like cheese which you might have thought came from ewes or goats. A new-ish addition is Pexo Blanco – brilliant on a BBQ skewer, it’s just like Haloumi. You can buy it in only in shops in the Calder Valley at the moment, or online. I’m lucky enough to have it hand delivered by Carl’s lovely niece Hannah every Saturday morning, along with her eggs. How bucolic is that? But don’t be surprised if it’s not more widely available soon. Something tells me Pextenement cheese is going to be huge. You know, big cheese.