Haringey blogger: Discover London’s only artisan cheese maker - right here in Tottenham
PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 November 2012
Tara-Lee Platt has lived in Tottenham for about four years. She is a member of Tottenham Community Choir. She has found something distinctly cheesy in the heart of Tottenham.
I love cheese. My cholesterol level would go so far as to say I love cheese too much.
Spreadable or hard, stinky or mild, cheese with bits in or cheese in triangles, cheese is the word.
So imagine my delight on discovering that here in our very own Tottenham we have an artisan cheese maker, in possession of a micro-dairy and not afraid to use it.
Philip Wilton has lived in Tottenham for years and has always had a love of the ripe stuff, but it took a recession and a small redundancy payment to give him the time and money to go into the cheese business. I went to visit Philip last week to discover more about London’s only artisan cheese maker.
Taking a disused garage at the Frontier Works industrial estate on Queens Road and turning it into a dairy is no mean feat, but Philip has done wonders. It’s separated into different zones, each catering for the specific ripening conditions necessary for each type of cheese, has top of the range refrigeration and is clean as a whistle – Philip spends every Thursday doing a deep clean of the premises
The milk used to make the cheese comes from just one herd of cows in Rye, East Sussex and is pasteurised but not homogenised – this means the milk hasn’t had the cream skimmed off like the stuff we buy in the supermarket but is full of the original goodness produced by the herd. It makes for a lovely texture and the cheeses really do melt in the mouth.
This also means that each batch of cheese has slight seasonal differences in taste, depending on what the herd are being fed. Philip showed me one batch of ripening cheese that was an orangey colour – I can’t imagine what Daisy had been eating for the milk to be that colour, but the aroma was delicious!
Wildes Cheese is London’s only artisan cheese maker and Philip is passionate about making cheese in and for the Haringey community. He told me: “When I finally decided to make cheese it was clear that I couldn’t leave London, I’m not ready to leave the best city in the world. I’ve lived in Haringey some 25 years, it is my town, my friends and family live here, my community live here, I live here. I know we have had our problems recently but I am not running away. And I want to be part of Tottenham’s come back - and believe me it will come back.”
Each wheel of cheese (say that out loud, it’s great - “wheel of cheese”) is made entirely by hand and because of this has unique qualities; Philip has the freedom to experiment with ingredients , adding a pinch of this and a dash of that – there is even one called The Drunk, a cheese washed in London Pride Ale!
It is really great to see this small business taking off in the heart of Tottenham. For my money, everything is improved by a bit of Wildes Cheese, but don’t take my word for it; get yourself down there for a chunk of the ripe stuff.
Wildes Cheese is on sale at Ally Pally Farmer’s Market on Sundays 10am to 3pm. You can find out more and get in touch on their website www.wildescheese.co.uk,
Follow Tara-Lee on Twitter @bear_faced_lady ‘HARINGEY BLOGGER: TARA-LEE PLATT’