Monday, 7 May 2018

Revival of an Old French Tradition

The use of ash on cheese is traced back to small farmhouse cheese makers in France, who preserved their autumn cheeses through the winter months by coating them in an ash and salt mixture. Ash was originally made from grape vine cuttings or charcoal from the fireplace, providing an instant rind for protection and neutralised surface acidity, while allowing natural moulds to continue to grow. The ash, or activated charcoal which it is sometimes called, allowed moisture to be drawn out and the curd to mature without the rind becoming rancid or sticky. The end result is a condensed, nutty texture with a strong creamy flavour. Ashing will sweeten the surface of your cheese and prepare it for Penicillium Candidum mould growth, inhibiting unwanted bacteria.

Brief directions for use: - Mix ash with your salt before applying and within a few days the black rind become greyer as the white mould grows through – within 8-10 days the entire rind should be white

Witnessing a new trend amongst Artisan and home cheese makers is always exciting; ever keen to try something new to them, but which was tried and tested many generations ago.

Ash is readily available from Moorlands

To view Moorland’s extensive range of cheese making ingredients, equipment and advice please visit

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Waiting Game

Once bitten by the cheese-making bug, you will go to extraordinary lengths to provide the perfect maturing cave.
Moorlands has dedicated, imaginative customers sharing their solutions to ensure their home-made cheese has the best start in life.

UK cities are particular hot spots, with cheese making happening in flats, terraces and even bedsits. Under stairs cupboards are being turned into caves; insulated boxes are springing up on balconies, in garden sheds and garages. Very important to make sure your insulated box is rodent proof though ...

Of course, most modern fridges have much better temperature control nowadays, with the bottom salad compartment being perfect for maturing soft cheeses and great to store matured, hard cheese between meals.
Making hard cheese is all about the waiting game, but making cheese regularly will reward you with a succession of delicious achievements.

For more cheesemaking tips and information about our kits and products, please visit

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Top Ten Cheese Making Tips

Making cheese at home is something most people are capable of doing, it’s just a case of bearing in mind a set of basic tips, which will enable you to get great results.
1.    Be sure to keep all equipment and preparation areas really clean to prevent unwanted mould growth.
2.    Get organised. Check that you have everything to hand before you start with regard to ingredients and equipment. If you don’t already have them, you’ll need to invest in some basic equipment before starting out in cheese making, including a large bowl, long-handled spoon or skimmer, cheesecloth, a colander, large pan, thermometer and measuring cups/spoons. If you’re making hard cheese, then a press will also be required. You can buy good quality equipment at
3.    Write everything down. In the back of 'An Introduction To Cheesemaking At Home' there are blank pages to do just that. When you turn out your first home made cheese and it tastes delicious, you will be able to do it all again. Perhaps it may need tweaking, i.e. a little less salt or a few more herbs, keeping notes will help you create your ideal cheese.
4.    Use good quality, fresh milk to make your cheese – UHT milk is not suitable! Ideally raw (untreated) milk is best, although you can use pasteurised milk, preferably organic. The most important point about the milk is that it must be non-homogenised.
5.    Depending on the type of cheese you choose to make, you will need rennet and specific cultures, all of which can be obtained from the Moorlands website.
6.    If you’re just starting out in cheese making, the best option may be to purchase one of our comprehensive kits that include full instructions, together with items such as rennet, starter, cheesecloth, thermometer, mat etc, depending on which kit you choose
7.    The best place to make low temperature cheese is in your kitchen sink! To gently heat your milk, place it in a pan placed in a sink of hot water, topping up the water from a kettle as required.
8.    You don’t necessarily need to buy specific cheese salt, fine grade cooking/table salt will suffice.
9.    If applying wax to your cheese, ensure that the cheese is completely dry before you start, to prevent mould growth.
10.  Be adventurous. Cheese making is not an exact science.

For more information and advice please visit our Q&A page

Monday, 5 February 2018

Know Your Source

You may have made various food related New Year’s resolutions that you may or may not have succeeded in keeping. Perhaps you vowed to give up chocolate, eat more fruit and veg, limit the carbs or cut back on alcohol?                                

Whatever dietary promises you made, a good approach to food is to eat a balanced diet (a well-worn phrase, but a good mix of different foods in moderate amounts seems wise) and to understand more about where your food originates and what it contains.

We certainly care more about the use of additives, rearing of livestock and source of origin than we did in the past, which is very positive. Of course, the more we make our own foods, using locally sourced ingredients where possible, or at least those with a reliable provenance, the more we can be sure of what we’re eating.

You may bake your own bread, make meals from scratch and even grow some of your own veg, so why not add cheese making to your list? By making your own cheese you can select the type of milk you use (sheep’s, cow’s or goat’s) from your preferred source, use our high quality rennet (including vegetarian and GM free) and cultures/starters and add natural flavourings and herbs of your choice for added interest. That way you’ll know exactly what’s in your cheese and how it was made!

Find out more at

Monday, 8 January 2018

A New Start

With the start of a new year you may be considering taking up a new hobby or pastime. There are so many great activities available, but if you’re looking for something really different that provides a tasty end result, then cheesemaking could be the pastime for you.

Cheese is a very nutritious foodstuff (an added bonus if you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to eat more healthily) as it is a great source of protein, calcium and vitamins. The options you have when making cheese are also endless, with a great variety of hard and soft cheeses to choose from and the scope to add herbs, seasoning and flavourings of your choice to create even more possibilities.

A great way to get started is with one of our comprehensive kits that include the essentials to get you started, together with full instructions.

We also supply a range of equipment and ingredients, such as rennet, to provide you with everything that you need to make delicious cheese.

So what are you waiting for? Take up cheesemaking today!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Christmas With Moorlands

It’s that time of year again when you find yourself scratching your head, trying to think of unusual Christmas gifts for those hard-to-buy-for people.

Maybe you’re looking for a present for someone who seems to have just about everything! Or perhaps you’re searching for something to give to a couple or a whole family as a joint gift. You may be totally out of ideas, so we have a great suggestion - choose one of the great cheese making kits from our selection at Moorlands!

From budding young chefs to seasoned food connoisseurs, our kits are sure to please everyone. Our popular kid’s kit is a definite winner, whilst our combined kit contains what you need to make both hard and soft cheeses. Take a look at these and more at:   

Of course, by giving a cheese making kit this Christmas, you’re not only giving the opportunity to enjoy a pleasurable pastime, but the ongoing gift of lovely fresh cheese to enjoy!

Merry Christmas from Moorlands!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

A Cheesy Tradition

A traditional part of Christmas is to serve a tasty, festive cheeseboard, whether that’s after a hearty lunch or dinner for family, or as part of an informal drinks party for friends and neighbours. A Yorkshire tradition is to serve cheese with the Christmas cake, a practice that dates back to the 1900s.

Favourite choices for your festive spread may include vintage Cheddar, Stilton, Brie, smoked cheeses and maybe some Wensleydale with cranberries or White Stilton with apricots. What would be your number one Christmas cheese choice?

Whichever specific cheeses you choose, it’s a good idea to have a mixture of hard and soft cheeses, offering a variety of flavours and textures. What you serve them with is up to you: savoury biscuits, grapes or simply a glass of wine or port.

Of course, to add even more variety to your cheeseboard, you can make your own cheese, to which you can add your personal choice of herbs, spices and flavourings, giving your Christmas spread that truly unique touch.

Regardless of which cheeses you select or how you serve them, there’s no doubt it’s just not Christmas without some delicious cheese!

For cheesemaking kits and equipment, please visit