Cheesemaking & ingredients

 Please note that our cheese is not vegetarian due to our use of calf rennet involved in creating our curds. We also bind our cheddars in lard-soaked muslin for maturing.

We bind our cheddars in lard-soaked muslin, it is what helps us in developing the best moulds on our rinds which in turn leads to the best cheddar. The lard we use is pork lard

Trethowan Brothers and our suppliers source milk either locally or from our own farms and this ensures that we all have total control over the quality of our raw materials.

At Trethowan Brothers’ Dairy, where we make our Award-Winning Pitchfork and Gorwydd, we source organic, unpasteurised milk, provided by a single herd of 120 Holstein-Friesian and 12 Jersey cows, who graze in the fields next to our dairy.

The farm adheres to a model of agriculture that is centred on local biodiversity and as part of the soil association we are governed by strict legal standards in order to call our cheese truly organic. 

We believe in sourcing organic milk because we believe that organic farming produces food in a way that benefits the natural world, our planet and people. There are also some significant benefits to using organic milk that go beyond supporting local biodiversity. The quality of milk from cows who are fed to organic standard is excellent, containing up to 50% more omega-3 fatty acids (study led by Newcastle University).

Not all of the cheese for sale on our online shop is made using organically sourced milk. Stichelton, Finn and Ragstone are made by our partners who operate at different sites and source different milk. The milk sourced for their cheeses is of exceptional quality and sourced locally to their respective dairies. We are proud to be working with such exceptional cheesemakers and to have such a selection of beautiful artisan cheeses on our website.

The UK government advise is that pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals should avoid all unpasteurised soft cheese. 
 This is due to the risk that listeria may be present in raw (unpasteurised) milk and may pass into the cheese. The illness that listeria causes can cause complications during pregnancy and for immunocompromised individuals.

Please visit the NHS website for more information regarding pregnancy and unpasteurised cheese.

Go to

We are regularly audited by Environmental health and also operate a positive release system which means that every single batch of cheese we produce is tested for key pathogens and only leave our dairy when they are shown to be safe.

Storage, maturation and cheese care

Our Award-Winning cheeses mature the way they do as a result of the micro fauna and flora that have built up over time in the maturing rooms. We ensure that our maturing rooms are filled with good mould spores and bacteria because without these moulds and bacteria, the cheese wouldn’t mature properly. We ensure that we sell our cheese and send it out to you when the cheese is at its best. 
Our twelve-month long maturation process for our Pitchforks allows a long, rounded flavour to develop from our unpasteurised milk and the natural crust of the cheese. Find out more about Pitchfork
Gorwydd is also an aged cheese, matured for six to twelve weeks, much longer than most Caerphillys which can be sold when a few days old. Over this time we monitor the cheese carefully for temperature and humidity to preserve its delicious rind. The longer maturing time and painstaking attention to detail and craft is what gives our Gorwydd Caerphilly it’s unique flavours and wins awards. Find out more about Gorwydd
Finn and Ragstone are matured at Neal’s Yard Creamery and are shipped to us with three and a half week’s minimum life. Sitchelton, like our Gorwydd and Pitchfork, has a longer shelf life, which can be anything up to three months.

We will only ship a cheese to you when it is at its absolute best. The age-ing and maturing of cheese is not a precise science and our knowledge of when our cheese has properly matured has come with time and experience. This is the magic of small batch cheesemaking and we encourage our customers to employ common sense when judging if a cheese is past it’s best. We are also always happy to answer any queries, please just email us at

​Because of the nature of our small-batch making our products can vary with each day’s production and change as they mature. Please do apply a common-sense approach to cheese care and respond to the cheese you have in front of you, we also hope that by drawing up these guidelines we can help you get the best out of your cheese!
The best way to keep our cheese is in the fridge below 8° c (an old stone larder or cellar will do if you are lucky enough to have one!)
At our diary we use waxed paper to wrap your orders as it allows the cheese to breathe without it drying out, please don’t throw it out when you pop your cheese in the fridge. We don’t recommend clingfilm as this can cause the cheese to ‘sweat’ - this is particularly bad for the Gorwydd rind (which we strongly recommend that you eat, as it’s delicious)! 
Two of our cheeses, Finn and Ragstone, will arrive plastic wrapped, this is because it is important for their cheeses to retain their moisture content, keeping their delicious flavours intact for you to enjoy.

Anytime in the first 2 weeks of arrival, although Gorwydd, Pitchfork and Stichelton will keep for longer if stored correctly.

All cheese is best eaten at room temperature and so you should remove it from the fridge in plenty of time, 30 mins for a smaller wedge, allow an hour for 500g and bigger. 

We hope you’ll enjoy your cheese so much that it’ll be gone within a few sittings, but don’t panic if it has been left for a few days and there is a small growth of surface mould! This is perfectly normal, and simply cutting away a thin slice to remove the mould will leave the cheese beneath in perfect condition. 

Curds and whey draining, handmade cheese makers. The Trethowan Brothers.