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Cheeses (Caws)

How good are Welsh cheeses? They’re so good they were once used as part of divorce settlements. Under the laws of Welsh ruler Hywel Da, cheeses that were washed in brine went to the wife, and cheeses that were hung up went to the husband.

Indeed, Wales has a long-standing tradition for producing delicious, high-quality cheeses. The earliest varieties resembled the now famous Caerphilly, but they were made from goat and sheep’s milks and immersed in brine. Later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, cow’s milk became the cheese-making ingredient of choice.

By the early 20th century, the production of Caerphilly moved to England because the demand for the cheese outgrew its Welsh production. Unfortunately, by the time of WWII, cheese making in Wales had come to a near standstill – many of the small Welsh cheese producers were run out of business by the larger English factories.

Today, a new generation of Welsh cheese makers has taken over the reigns. Even though Caerphilly is the only truly traditional Welsh cheese still made, there are many modern farmhouse cheeses that offer a whole new palate of exciting possibilities. Throughout South East, Mid, and North Wales, small and large dairies are winning awards, re-establishing Wales’ cheese making reputation, and turning out products that are sought after worldwide.

Here are some of the best Welsh cheeses:

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Recipes are registered to Sosban Fach 2009. All rights reserved.