25 May 2020
Y Cwt Caws – Producer Of The Month
1 Apr 2020
Y Cwt Caws is a family business based in Dulas, Ynys Mon, Anglesey and was established in 2006. They produce all their cheeses by hand on Cors Y Odyn Farm using milk from a mixed herd of Saanans, Toggenburgs and Alpine goats.
Can you tell us about how Y Cwt Caws started?
Y Cwt Caws began back in 2006, My dad; Nigel has been a dairy farmer since he left school and he had always wanted to keep goats. So when the opportunity arose on our farm to purchase around 12 goats – we did. We started very small by converting an old barn “Cwt” into a cheese room hence we came up with Y Cwt Caws. And we have been making cheese there ever since. And we have expanded since 2006 and we now have a mixed herd of around 150.
How did you come to settle on producing the varieties which Y Cwt Caws now sells?
We set out with the aim to produce high quality creamy delicate cheese that could also ripen into a stronger tasting cheese and following a lot of experimenting.. taste testing.. and research we think we have achieved our goal with our variety of soft and hard cheeses.
Have you noticed any changes in popularity of goats cheese through the years?
We have definitely noticed more people willing to try and actively looking for goats cheese to buy in the last 5 years which has been great to see. I think people are becoming more knowledgeable about goats cheese and its health benefits also with our society becoming more health conscious with diet and well-being we hope it will become more of a staple cheese not just on the cheeseboard but in your weekly shop as well.
What are the main practical differences between artisan cheesemaking with goats milk compared to cows milk?
Volume of milk and scale of production are much less you also have the seasonality element (not making cheese all year round)
What is your view on the current state of cheesemaking in Wales?
My opinion is that Wales is currently full of diverse cheese makers creating various different cheeses that can wholeheartedly compete with cheese across the world because the standard in Wales is so high.
Can you describe a typical day at Y Cwt Caws and talk us through your cheesemaking process?
Milking and feeding takes place usually around 6am, with work starting in the dairy around 9 – pasteurising the milk and cheesemaking throughout the day in the dairy. Then in-between all of this we are also dealing with phone/email orders and enquiries and serving visitors and customers in the shop, also any general maintenance that needs dealing with on the farm and finishing the day milking and feeding and hopefully get home for supper by 7!
Once the milk has been pasteurised the cheesemaker will be heating the milk up in the cheese VAT to the required temperature before adding the starter culture and later the vegetarian rennet and then when the curds are cut releasing the whey – the whey is drained and stored to be recycled leaving us with gentle curds in the feta pots which after a period of salting produces our lovely Ffetys.
What is your favourite Y Cwt Caws cheese and drink pairing?
Tysilio on a cracker with plenty of butter and a large glass of Pinot Grigio
Do you have any recipe tips for us using Y Cwt Caws cheeses?
The Peli Pabo soft goats cheese goes extremely well stuffed in a chicken breast and wrapped in bacon.
The Ffetys is a great accompaniment for a Greek salad, or equally grilled in the oven drizzled with honey and served with pine nuts.
And we always make Delia Smith’s Goats’ cheese, onion and potato bread with thyme on special occasions.
The Tysilio is great sliced into two rounds grilled and topped with caramelised onions or beetroot.
The hard cheeses are perfect for the cheeseboard.
What’s next for Y Cwt Caws?
We are actively looking to get our cheeses in local restaurants and across Wales as a whole. We want everyone in Wales to know Y Cwt Caws!
We love Y Cwt Caws cheeses. If you’d like to try them, click on this link to shop.