Our Smoked Gubbeen is made in Schull, County Cork, by the Ferguson Family. Their springy, creamy cheese is made with milk from their own herd who graze on pastures overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The cheeses are washed in brine to create a sticky orangery skin. Once the cheese has matured, they smoke it using a smoke box and cold oak smoking techniques, traditionally used for sides of salmon. The cheese itself has an elastic texture and a unique flavour profile of mushrooms, nuts and a gentle smokiness.
On the Ferguson’s farm everything is utilised within their cheesemaking and charcuterie business. The rich pastures of their farm provide the grass for their mixed herd of Jersey, Friesian, Simmenthal and Kerry cows. The milk from these cows is made into cheese and all of the leftover whey is fed to their pigs who are used to produce charcuterie.
It is thought that the first smoked cheese was discovered by accident. Probably the cheese was kept too close to a fire but it was soon discovered that it didn’t harm the cheese. Nowadays we smoke cheeses because they taste amazing!
Some smoked cheeses are artificially smoked. This means that the cheese has a smoke flavouring added to it. We prefer to stock cheeses which have actually been smoked. Usually this involves a cold smoke process. Cold smoking means that the smoke is generated in one area whilst the cheese is in another unheated area. The smoked is then pumped into the area where the cheese is kept. Cheeses are generally smoked over oak, applewood, hickory or beech chips.
Smoked cheeses pair brilliantly with tart apples and white grapes. They also are amazing when used in cooking. We love to add a bit of smoked cheese to cauliflower cheese, macaroni cheese & fondues.
This cheese makes a perfect accompaniment to a platter of British charcuterie alongside a glass of dry cider.