No doubt many of us have had those Faustian Country Mouse/ City Mouse moments: the ones where you’re in Selfridges Food Hall, for instance, eyeing up the tantalisingly displayed fruit and veg. Part of you is captured by the rural idyll, the dreams of the good life, that your 200g of, say, girondelles, conjures up. The other half of you is thinking “Hmmmm…. Shoe Galleries”.
For one passionate Londoner, the two aren’t mutually exclusive (although we we’re not so sure that he much cares about Selfridge’s Shoe Galleries …) Philip Wilton was, until a few years ago, working as a management consultant but, after doing a course at an agricultural college, figured that he could pursue his long-held passion for cheesemaking without leaving the capital : after all, if you could brew beer and distil gin in an urban setting then why not make cheese? A longtime resident of Tottenham, he searched the area for premises and eventually set up his micro-dairy – it occupies just three rooms – in an industrial estate not far from Spurs’ Whitehart Lane football stadium.
Using vegetarian rennet, and milk from single-herd cows in Rye, Sussex, Wildes Cheese creates a frequently-varying range of cheeses – “because change is better than a rest”, as the website says – and let’s face it, rest is something that this Urban Cheesemaker is not getting much of, with demand constantly increasing for his handmade products. Those lucky E17 FarmDroppers can currently choose between cheeses like “Howard” – a semi hard option with a hint of blue which is named after Luke Howard, a cloud-namer who also hailed from Tottenham – or High Cross which, after being brined for a month, is creamy and crumbly and works a treat in salad. For those of you who aren’t in the area, check out http://wildescheese.co.uk for more info on where you can sample this feisty fromage.
p.s. If you too live in the E17 area, don’t forget to join the drop following this link!