Gorwydd Caerphilly

A wedge of Gorwydd caerphilly cheese with a smaller wedge cut off it.

Mass-produced Caerphilly cheese of the kind generally available in supermarkets tends to have a simple flavour profile: salty, mildly creamy; somewhat tangy; and a dryish, crumbly texture. A farmhouse-style Caerphilly like the Gorwydd one shown above is altogether more complex. As the photo illustrates, it has a pale-coloured heart around which is a deeper yellow layer within its edible rind. The pale part of the cheese has something like the quasi-citric tang of its factory-made namesake, whereas the outer part contributes rounder and deeper notes, and the rind an earthy mushroomlike quality. The overall effect is that of an harmonious chord of flavours, as opposed to a single note.

The Trethowan brothers who make Gorwydd pioneered the revival of farmhouse Caerphilly after the style had become all-but extinct. It was named for the farm in west Wales where they first made it, a name retained after their relocation to Somerset in south-west England. I bought the wedge in the picture from the Newhall Farm Shop near Chepstow. It’s a delicious cheese that is meanwhile mild enough not to alarm the unadventurous.