‘I’d happily eat this book – with a spoonful of chutney.’ – Gill Meller
‘If you want to know more about the human stories behind real cheese, buy this book! It highlights the wonderful diversity of people, scales and skills which characterise and bind together the emergent community of UK artisan cheese makers.’ – Patrick Holden, Sustainable Food Trust
A Portrait of British Cheese celebrates the excellence of artisan and farmhouse cheese in the British Isles, expressing it as a product of the land, its animals, and its people, offering a snapshot of rural life, artisan traditions and delicious dishes.
The UK farmhouse cheese industry has faced its biggest challenges in recent years, with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing many small cheesemakers out of business. Food writers and journalists including Jamie Oliver led the call to save British cheeses, and the public’s discovery of and support for speciality artisan cheeses helped many producers to weather the storm.
Photographer and writer Angus D. Birditt has been visiting and documenting dairies all over the British Isles, looking at the food, people and landscapes dedicated to artisan and farmhouse cheeses. From Lincolnshire Poacher to Stichelton (the original Stilton), Britain’s own Brie in the form of Baron Bigod from Suffolk, to Brefu Bach sheep’s milk cheese from Snowdonia and Appleby’s Cheshire cheese from the heart of rural Shropshire, this is a unique journey through photos, essays and recipes, revealing the joys and challenges of a life in cheesemaking.