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Blackwoods: Innovative, Real and Raw Cheese from Kent

Founded by David Holton in 2013, Blackwoods Cheese Company is known for its real and raw cheese, using fresh unpasteurised milk from the dairy at Bore Place Organic Farm in Kent. Having worked with some of Britain’s finest cheese makers, David was keen to use raw cow’s milk from a sustainable farm and reduce food miles by working close to the source of milk.

With their headline cheese Graceburn, Blackwoods are the first and only cheese maker in the UK to produce this rich and creamy feta-like marinated cheese from raw cow’s milk. Blackwoods makes all its cheese from fresh organic milk sourced from a local dairy herd.

Farming for the future

Bore Place Farm is an organic, sustainable farm that takes a regenerative approach to farming, the resulting milk is carbon negative, meaning more carbon is put back into the ground than removed by the farming processes. The herd is a mix of Friesian with Holsteins, Swedish Red and Montbeliarde cows, which yield a milk much higher in fat and protein than standard dairy cows, ideal for cheese making.

“We are really proud of Graceburn, which is based on an old Persian Feta recipe. We make it by hand in Kent using the freshest local milk from a sustainable farm, and then marinate in a local oil.  The result is a really unique cheese,” explains Managing Director and Head Cheese Maker David Holton. Highly valued by both locals and chefs alike, Graceburn is a sustainable everyday staple, versatile in both the kitchen and on a cheeseboard.

A trio of award-winning varieties

A soft, creamy cheese, rich in flavour, Graceburn is best described as a creamier version of Feta. Having been marinated in cold pressed rapeseed oil from a local Kent supplier, the cheese takes on the flavours and the silky, luscious texture of the oil. Regularly awarded for flavour; Graceburn was crowned winner of Best Enhanced Cheese with Savoury Additives in the 2021 Virtual Cheese Awards, 1* for the truffle and chipotle varieties in the 2020 Great Taste Awards, and Best Cow’s Milk Cheese at the 2019 Artisan Cheese Awards. Receiving national recognition, Graceburn Original has also just been announced as a finalist in the 2021 Great British Food Awards for a cheese with flavour added.

With a similar texture to Feta, Graceburn is ideal within salads, as part of canapes or added into warm pasta dishes. The vibrant yellow jars of marinated cheese are available in three different flavours:

  • Original
    Raw cow’s milk cheese marinated in cold pressed British rapeseed oil with aromatic flavours of garlic, thyme and pepper.
  • Truffle
    Raw cow’s milk cheese marinated in cold pressed British rapeseed oil with luxurious black truffle.
  • Chipotle and Lemon
    Raw cow’s milk cheese marinated in cold-pressed British rapeseed oil with chipotle chilli and lemon zest.

Graceburn is currently available from Fortnum and Mason and Selfridges, Neals Yard Dairy and The Fine Cheese Company, as well as independent local shops. You can also find Graceburn at the Blackwoods Cheese Company outlet at Borough Market, London and online at www.blackwoodscheesecompany.co.uk

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