As the winds of January blow cold, Scotland prepares to celebrate Burns Night, an homage to the beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns. Amidst the recitals of his poetry and the swirl of kilts, there's another, often unsung, hero of this cultural feast – Scottish artisanal cheese. We’ve assembled a selection of Scottish cheeses for our Burns Night Cheeseboard.
A Toast to Tradition: Lanark Blue
We begin with the formidable Lanark Blue, Scotland’s poetic answer to Roquefort. Crafted by the pioneering Humphrey Errington in Lanarkshire, this blue-veined marvel is a bold tribute to Scottish cheesemaking. Its strong, assertive taste, marrying tangy and sharp notes with an inherent sweetness, is a fitting ode to the robust character of Burns's poetry. Lanark Blue, with its creamy to crumbly texture, is a celebration of the rustic Scottish countryside and a nod to the nation's rich dairy heritage.
The Sophistication of Strathearn
Next, we venture to the Strathearn Cheese Co., where the semi-soft Strathearn cheese awaits. This cheese is a masterstroke of flavour, matured for four weeks and washed in a brine infused with Glenturret single malt whisky. This unique process imparts a semi-soft texture and a whisky-washed rind, offering a robust and flavoursome experience. As Burns himself was known to enjoy a dram, pairing your haggis with this whisky-infused cheese might just be the perfect way to honour his spirit.
A Cheddar with Character: St Andrew's Cheddar
No Scottish cheeseboard is complete without a nod to the world-renowned cheddar, and St Andrew's Cheddar is here to fill that spot. Jane Stewart's 18-month aged creation is a testament to the timeless tradition of Scottish cheesemaking. Its powerful, tangy flavour and golden curd, combined with a crumbly yet creamy texture, make it a stand-out addition to any Burns Night celebration.
The Nutty Notes of Corra Linn
Next up is Corra Linn, a cheese that embodies the heart and soul of Scottish cheesemaking. Made from the raw milk of Lacaune sheep, this firm cheese is matured for over a year, resulting in a texture that's both firm and crumbly. Its nutty notes and subtle earthy undertones make it an exquisite pairing with medium-bodied red wines or craft ale, perfect for toasting to the bard's legacy.
Blackmount Goat's Cheese: A Creamy Finale
Our cheeseboard concludes with the Blackmount goat's cheese, an ash-coated lactic delight that's as intriguing as Burns's most complex verses. This cheese, handcrafted by the skilled Selina Cairns, is shaped into elegant pyramids, reflecting the beauty of the Scottish landscape. Its smooth, soft mouthfeel and robust, meaty flavours, balanced with a hint of goatiness, make it an ideal finale to our Burns Night celebration.
Pair these cheeses with your favourite Scottish whisky or ale, and raise a glass to the immortal memory of Robert Burns, the bard who continues to inspire and unite.
"Here's to cheese – the poetry of food – on Burns Night. Slàinte mhath!"