Jolene - Silky & Fruity Sheeps Cheese - £3.50 / 100g
Regular price £5.22
Reminiscent of the great sheep’s milk cheeses of southern France (think Pyrenees Brebis and Ossau Iraty), ‘Jolene’ is a firm cheese made on the farm by Barry & Lorraine Cahalan using milk from their 200 sheep, all fed out on the pastures of County Tipperary.
Aged for six months, its ivory paste has a supple, silky texture and fruity, fudgy flavours. It is one of those cheeses that, once you’ve tried it, you just can’t stop nibbling!
It’s so good we can’t stop singing about it.
Made by Barry & Lorraine Cahalan in Terryglass, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
Childhood sweethearts Barry and Lorraine met at a nearby Irish Hurling club (like hockey) and they soon went to agricultural college together to go into farming.
In 2013 Barry Cahalan and Lorraine Davis left agricultural college to set-up on their own on family land in Borrisokane, north Tipperary (Ireland). Wanting to go into dairy farming but unable to afford the capital investment needed to set up a dairy farm, they looked at other ways of setting up. By chance on one of Lorraine’s agricultural college placements she had spent some time with a nearby goats’ cheese-maker and farmer, Marion Roeleveld. Talking with Marion, they struck upon the thought of milking dairy sheep, which requires much less investment and start-up costs than building a cow dairy herd. So they set about building a shed, and then bought a handful of Lacaune and Friesland dairy sheep. Farmed seasonally from spring to autumn, the sheep are kept out at pasture feeding on the fresh grass on the Tipperary plains.
Marion Roeleveld, who makes the fantastic Killeen Goats’ Gouda, offered her expertise of cheese-making and allowed them to use her cheese-making facility, saving them money on startup. Soon, using the fantastic rich milk from their dairy sheep, a new cheese was born: Cáis na Tíre with a fruity, flaky flavour. in 2018 Barry and Lorraine finally raised enough money to build their own cheese dairy on the farm and so, after spending a long time with Marion learning how to make Cáis na Tíre, Marion handed the recipe back to them, and it is now made by them on their farm.
In 2018 owner of The Courtyard Dairy, Andy, asked Barry and Lorraine to experiment with Marion using her Dutch cheese expertise in order to produce a sheep’s milk version of Killeen – a hard goats’ Gouda which had become a firm favourite of customers and staff alike. The first original batches were sold by The Courtyard Dairy in late 2018 – an experimental 50 wheels – originally called Cáis na Tíre Gouda. The Gouda recipe involves heating up the curd a bit more during production and washing out the lactose sugar as it is made – producing a suppler, sweeter cheese. Ageing the cheese intensified these flavours and gave the cheese a real depth of flavour. The quality of Barry and Lorraine’s milk shone through in the cheese and this new recipe has similarities to the great sheep’s cheeses of southern France and the Basque region. Jolene was born.