Lynher Dairies, tucked away on a country lane near Falmouth, is the sole producer of the world champion Cornish Kern cheese and the iconic nettle-wrapped Cornish Yarg.
The dairy owns a herd of Ayrshires to provide the rich and creamy milk that goes into their award-winning cheeses. Healthy and happy cows are at the heart of the Lynher ethos, and the Ayrshires are farmed to the highest of animal welfare practices.
Owned by Catherine Mead, Lynher Dairies employs around 30 people from herdsmen to briners, nettlers to packers.
Both Kern and Yarg are made by hand in open vats by a small team of dedicated cheesemakers who work with both science and intuition.
‘Yarg got its name from a moment of inspiration. A Bodmin Moor farmer, Alan Gray, first produced it in the 1980s after finding a 17th century recipe for nettle wrapped cheese in his attic. Spell Gray backwards and you have the answer as to how Yarg was named!’ explains Catherine.
‘Our longer maturing cheese Kern means round in Cornish and also happens to be the first four letters of Kernow, the Cornish for Cornwall. When choosing its name, we knew we wanted it to have four letters and for it to have the same strong sound that Yarg does, so we have much to thank the Cornish language for.’
Crowned Supreme Champion at the World Cheese Awards in 2017, Kern has delighted its makers by winning Taste of the West’s Champion Cheese Award in 2020, then going forward a stage further to take the top title of Supreme Champion Product 2020.
Firm to the cut, slightly flaky in the middle, its buttery taste with caramel notes has found itself on the top cheeseboards in the world, as well as being served to first class passengers of British Airways!
Cornish Yarg is all about the nettles. The leaves are foraged from local hedgerows and woodlands and painted onto the cheese in concentric circles. Natural moulds help the Yargs mature – a mere six weeks from field to finish.
‘Our fields are where our story begins,’ explains Catherine. ‘A healthy soil rich in nutrients grows the very best grass and that is what we want our cows to feed on. Free-ranging, pasture-fed cows produce wonderful milk which in turn produces great cheese’.
Click here to view a full list of the champion product winners of the Taste of the West Awards 2020.
Entries into the Taste of the West Product Awards 2021 are now open. To find out more please visit the Taste of the West website.
The Taste of the West Hospitality & Retail Awards 2020/2021 are also open for entries to all hospitality and retail establishments throughout the South West, although naturally judging is on hold until the current lockdown restrictions are eased. If you are passionate about serving or selling local food and drink, find out more about entering your business here.