Dunlop Cheddar is a fantastic hard cheese made from cows' milk by Ann Dorwood of Dunlop Dairy, at West Clerkland Farm near Stewarton. The cheese is a mild cheddar with a really buttery taste – I love it roasted on bread with our own Craigie’s Red Tomato and Pepper Chutney, washed down with a bottle of Stewart Brewing's Edinburgh Gold Beer.
Dunlop Cheddar has just received official recognition from the EU, which protects the name from imitation products.
This has to be one of the best blue cheeses you can get and is a personal favourite. I love this cheese served at room temperature on a Wooleys of Arran Oatcake with a glass of English Bolney Pinot Noir wine.
Bellevue Creamery, from a modern creamery converted from a former milking shed, produces Arran Blue: a pasteurised, semi-soft blue cheese similar to the French Bleu d'Auvergne and Silver Medal winner at the 2006 British Cheese Awards.
This Gouda is very much a family affair made by the Clark family on their organic farm at Ardersier, near Inverness. Made from cows' milk, this is a semi-hard cheese with a mild sweet taste. The cows are fed on pastures rich in clover, and you can really taste this in the cheese. I really enjoy it on crackers served with Craigie’s Gooseberry and Rhubarb Chutney.
Staying up in the north of Scotland but moving to Easter Ross, this brie is a Gold winner in the British Cheese Awards. I always take brie out of the fridge in plenty of time so that it's nice and soft and spreads easily on a French-style baguette.
The Stone family, who run Highland Fine Cheeses Limited, are great farmers and even better cheese-makers. They really know how to make a great brie.
Anster is a Friesian Holstein cows' milk cheese with a fresh, dry taste and a crumbly texture. It dissolves in the mouth to leave a full-flavoured finish. Anster is hand-made on the farm to a traditional recipe by Jane Stewart at St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company on Falside Farm. The Friesian cows graze all summer long on the lush pastures overlooking the May Island above the Fife fishing village of Anstruther (from which the cheese takes its name.)
St Duthac Blue
Back up to Rory Stone’s farm at Tain, this ewe’s milk blue is a real treat. It's slightly milder than a Blue Stilton but has a creamy, salty tang. It's best enjoyed melted over a Scottish fillet steak, or on an oatcake with a glass of Cairn O’Mhor Elderberry Wine.