Irish farmhouse cheeses are the product of unique interactions between people, place and pasture. It is not just about flavour, it is also about people, and each cheese tells the story of the cheesemaker and the farm where it was made. Every cheese is marked with the signature of their personality.
Embark on a journey through the Emerald Isle indulging on all that is Irish cheese. We have rounded up some of the best cheese experiences and farms for you to visit when in Ireland.
Best Cheese Experiences & Farms in Ireland
German-born cheesemaker Maja Beaujouan of Dingle Peninsula Cheese makes a range of semi-hard and hard cheese. The jewel in the crown is her Dilliskus flavoured cheese with hand-picked dillisk seaweed and made using morning milk. She matures them in a 200-year old stone building whose natural flora adds to the fermentation process and the final flavour of the cheese. This unique “seaweed cheese” is a true testament to the culinary innovations transpiring in Ireland.
Cork Dairy Farm Cheese Making and Tasting Tour Including Lunch
Meet Jenny at her family-owned dairy for your cheese tour and tasting. You’ll start your experience with a cup of tea or coffee in her garden before you head to the cheese production facility. Learn about the process of making cheese, watch as the cheese makers stretch curd to make fresh cheeses, and discover the array of maturing hung cheeses as you tour the aging room. After your tour, you’ll head back to enjoy a tasting of five different cheeses. Jenny will pair them with ingredients that elevate their flavor – burrata freshly made that morning with a splash of olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar, grilled halloumi with fresh bread or a dollop of ricotta with a drizzle of local honey. Later, you can opt to drive through the woodlands for a walk to the sheep pastures or stay and tour the herb and vegetable garden. Your lunch will include a wood-fired pizza, along with an organically-grown seasonal side salad with fresh garden herbs and pecorino.
Your host Jenny and her partner Toby (who always dreamed of owning a farm) own and run a dairy farm and cheese production facility that produces award-winning cheese. They first started in the industry with an olive oil and Italian products company that specialized in importing Italian mozzarella. However, transporting the cheese became difficult and Jenny and Toby were struck that Cork had underutilized green pastures that might help solve their cheese transportation issues. They decide to produce fresh Italian-style mozzarella from the high-quality milk of Ireland’s pasture-grazed cows. Initially, Jenny and Toby worked with a local milk farmer, and eventually they opened their own dairy and cheese-making facility that provides cheese to several restaurants and is sold at farmer’s markets around the country. They also have a sheep farm and make a variety of delicious sheep cheeses. Their smoked scamorza cheese won the Blas Na Heireann award for best smoked cheese! Come visit Jenny and learn about how this couple followed their dream to create an incredible product with local ingredients!
Cashel Blue Cheese
Partake in the Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers Tasting Experience. Come and visit their Dairy, get a virtual tour of how they make the cheese, meet with the makers, sit and chat and have a tasting of not only their own cheeses, but also other iconic Irish farmhouse cheeses.
When Louis & Jane Grubb set out to make Cashel Blue in the early 1980s, their ambition was to create a farmhouse cheese that truly represents the outstanding quality of Tipperary grass-fed milk. Today, more than 35 years later and in the hands of the 2nd generation, Cashel Blue is still made by hand on the same 200 acre farm.
Farm & Cheese in Galway
Meet Teresa, a fun and passionate artisanal cheesemaker in Galway. Experience spending time on a real working farm in the Galway countryside, get to see an artisan food producer at work, and of course sample their cheese, along with afternoon treats, all made with the best of Irish milk and butter! During your farm tour, you will learn all about Kylemore farmhouse cheese; everything from where does the milk come from (you might even get to meet their cows!), how cheese is made, what happens while its maturing and what makes it taste so good! You will finish your tour with a cheese tasting paired with homemade Irish soda bread and seasonal fruit in addition to a glass of wine enjoyed in an old Irish farmhouse room filled with traditional antiques and a cozy, traditional Irish marble fireplace
More Foodie Experiences in Ireland
Beyond cooking classes, Adams & Butler invites travellers to consume the freshest regional produce and engage with the personable, welcoming local providers. One such provider is permaculturalist Adam Afoullouss of Ancient Organics. The term permaculture combines the words permanent and culture, or permanent and agriculture. It is a system of cultivation intended to maintain permanent agriculture or horticulture by relying on renewable resources and a self-sustaining ecosystem. Visit Adam in West Cork not only to learn about farming in Ireland, but also to contribute to the growing sustainable movement.
Other local foodie experiences include seaweed foraging and cheese farm visits. Both of these experiences provide holiday-goers with a hands-on activity that goes beyond the mere act of consuming food and beverage. Guests develop an appreciation for the planet given that these two offerings truly immerse them into nature. Seaweed foraging fosters an exploration of the coast and the wild Atlantic way; whereas, the cheese farm visits encourages a deeper understanding of farming practices and produce. The itineraries Gourmet Ireland, Wild Atlantic Seaweed Explorer, and Artisanal Cheeses of Ireland outline the plethora of culinary excursions to participate in when visiting Ireland. Link to itineraries here:
Overall, Adams & Butler’s central objective is to foster memories and indescribable personal moments for our clients. We believe our culinary experiences do just that. They allow for customers to garner a deeper appreciation for the natural world, history, local communities and even themselves all in luxurious comfort.
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