Making cheese with Norbury Blue - Surrey Creations
- Credit: Archant
Surrey’s only cheese-maker has transformed from an ambitious kitchen table project to a well-established provider for cheeseboards around our county in just over ten years. Here we meet the good folk at Norbury Blue...
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine August 2015
Head down a bridleway at the foot of Box Hill and you might just bump into Michaela Allam, founder of Norbury Blue, and her husband, Neil, making up their latest batch of delicious cheeses.
Having got to know each other through farmers’ markets – with Michaela’s cheese stall often placed next to watercress farmer Neil’s produce – the pair decided to join forces, and the rest, as they say, is history.
By “speaking to the chef, not the pub manager”, they soon got their cheese on the menus of pubs and restaurants around the county, and today Norbury Blue is one of the region’s leading varieties. Despite the many challenges that a cheese-maker in Surrey faces, they have never looked back.
“I can’t see anyone else making cheese in Surrey for the foreseeable future at least,” says Michaela, who first started out in 2001. “It’s too much hassle and red tape! Saying that, everyone wants to be a cheese-maker; it’s a trendy thing.”
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The only blue cheese-maker in the south to produce from a closed herd of Friesians, they also use unpasteurised milk.
“I wouldn’t make unpasteurised cheese with someone else’s milk,” says Neil. “You know if your cow is ill or if something is wrong with it, but if it’s someone else’s, you could get some dirty milk.”
And, in a way, doesn’t that just sum up the renaissance of the local producers? Supermarket scandal proved a timely reminder that there should be pride in the provenance of our food.
• Norbury Blue Cheese, Norbury Park Farm, Mickleham, near Dorking RH5 6DN: Tel: 07799 231402. Web: norburyblue.co.uk
• Surrey Creations is a series by local photographer, Philip Traill, exploring people in their work environment, capturing the characters and what they do in a single image. Contact Philip on firstname.lastname@example.org
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