Gringa Dairy – Artisan Mexican Cheese Made in Peckham

Gringa Dairy

Britain prides itself on its long-standing tradition of cheesemaking that dates back to Roman times.  From its historic origins, the practice evolved and gradually spread nationwide as different styles of cheese were produced in different regions of the country.  With artisan cheeses, such as Lincolnshire Poacher and Stinking Bishop co-existing alongside stalwarts, such as Cheddar and Red Leicester, British cheesemaking is thriving.  

Artisan cheese production is normally associated with idyllic pastures, countryside scenes and rural dairies producing traditional British cheeses.  However, there is also a growing trend towards urban artisan cheese production, as I discovered when I met cheesemaker Kristen Schnepp, who is the founder of Peckham-based Gringa Dairy.   Aside from its location of Peckham, what makes Gringa Dairy really unique is that they produce authentic Mexican-style cheeses.

American-born Kristen has had a lifelong passion for cheese, and about two years ago, she decided to follow her dreams by taking the leap from being an enthusiastic home cheesemaker to becoming a professional one.  After taking a professional cheesemaking course at The School of Artisan Food, spending time with cheesemakers, and much self learning and experimentation, Gringa Dairy was established in April 2013.

Kristen uses organic cows milk (sourced from Commonwork Farm), starter cultures and salt to produce a selection of high quality, fresh Mexican cheeses.  Her current range of cheeses that are used by Mexican restaurants and cheese-loving consumers are: Queso FrescoQueso Oaxaca and Queso Chihuahua.

I visited Kristen at her dairy and spoke to her about the story of Gringa Dairy, and about how she produces her delicious Mexican artisanal cheeses.  You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.

Gringa Dairy

Trethowan’s Dairy Gorwydd Caerphilly Cheese

Caerphilly Cheese 1

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant Hapus!  Happy St David’s Day!

St David’s Day is today, and is a special day for all Welsh people.  St David’s Day was named after St David, the patron saint of Wales who was a renowned 6th Century Welsh Bishop.  In modern day Wales and in Welsh Diasporas around the world, March 1st has evolved from its historic roots into a national day of celebration of all things Welsh.

In honour of this special day, I decided to post a Welsh food interview that I conducted in 2011.  This interview was a very special interview for me for 2 reasons.  Firstly, it was my first ever food-related radio interview, and secondly being born and bred in Caerphilly, the subject matter of Caerphilly Cheese evokes warm food memories from my youth.

My motivation for this interview was to find a traditional Welsh food producer who was somehow linked to London.  After much research, I discovered Trethowan’s Dairy, a Llanddewi Brefi-based artisan cheesemaker who specialises in producing Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese.  What makes them relevant to London is that they have a fantastic stall at Borough Market.

At the time of this interview, the Gorwydd Caerphilly stall was run by a charismatic, knowledgeable cheese monger, Ned Palmer who you can see below.Caerphilly Cheese 2.
Ned shared many anecdotes and stories with me about the history of Caerphilly cheese, and how Trethowan’s Dairy produce their mature variety using a traditional recipe using raw (unpasteurised) cows milk and a traditional rennet.  The resulting cheese produced is a fine example of British artisanal cheese making at its very best.

You can hear my interview with Ned by clicking on the play button below.