Goosnargh's world famous Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire Cheese
Mrs Kirkham's cheese is probably the best known Lancashire cheese, not just in our county but all over the world. In fact, its popularity is so great that it is now being sold in top London stores and is being shipped to America.
The traditional handcrafted cheese has been made on the Kirkham's farm in Goosnargh, near Preston, for three generations. It is made from unpasteurised milk from the farm's herd of Friesian Holstein cows that graze on specially selected grass sown and grown for its richness and goodness to bring out the best flavour possible.Cheesemaker Graham Kirkham produces around 18 cheeses, each weighing about ten kilos, a day at the Goosnargh farm. The cheese is made from six milkings, which is said to give it its award winning texture and flavour and is matured from anywhere between six weeks to 12 months. Six week matured cheese is mild, creamy and slightly crumbly, while a fuller and more rounded flavour can found in the more mature varieties.Mrs Kirkham's cheeses have been exhibited and tasted globally and have won many awards - the latest being named the Best British Raw Milk Cheese, a title awarded to Graham by Prince Charles by the Specialist Cheesemakers' Association.
Mrs Kirkham's has also received a silver in the Tasty, Traditional Lancashire class at the British Cheese Awards in 2003 and a gold in the Creamy Traditional category, as well as being named Lancashire Life and Lake District Life Rural Enterprise of the Year 2003-2004. It was also named as the Supreme Champion at the International Cheese Show at Earl's Court in London - a prestigious recommendation sought by every cheesemaker.Because such a relatively small amount of cheese is produced at the farm it is only available from a select number of retailers. These include Booths - the supermarket of the North West, and the Kirkham's can usually be found with a stall at Manchester, Liverpool and Ashton-under-Lyne farmers' markets.